May 22, 2022

Kathie Lee Gifford suffered from a ‘no intimate relationship’ marriage after witnessing a man’s complacency

Kathie Lee Gifford has shared details about her first marriage, decades after ending it. Although she didn’t confide in the press, she did a detailed recap of it in her recent book, “It’s Never Too Late.”

Born in France, Kathie Lee Gifford is an American who has made a fortune of several million dollars over the years. She is particularly famous for her appearance on the talk show “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee”.

Gifford has proven through her resume that she deserves fame. In addition to her screen career, she is a singer, songwriter and author. From the height of her 68 years, this multi-faceted artist continues to share her immense talents with the whole world.

Kathie Lee Gifford at an event | Photo: Getty Images

Recently, Mrs. Gifford published a book in which she shares some hidden truths about her life. One of the truths she preserved concerns her failed first marriage to Paul Johnson.

Many might have thought that Ms Gifford had enjoyed her career without issue. After all, she has a charming personality, a gorgeous face, and a seemingly great life with her two children from a second marriage.

However, the star confessed things were much different in her new book. She claims that in her life she had to face difficulties that changed her reality, but ultimately resulted in her happiness.

Kathie Lee Gifford at the 41st Annual Gracie Awards Gala on May 24, 2016 | Photo: Shutterstock

Ms Gifford explained that her first marriage was not as perfect as she had envisioned. She was married to composer Paul Johnson for over five years.

Their common faith drew them to each other, and they swore to honor their Christian faith by remaining chaste until marriage. When they met, they were both virgins.

“Before we got married, Paul told me he was a virgin too,” Kathie recalls.

They met in 1973, while Gifford was studying at Oral Roberts University. His new friend was affiliated with the son of the university’s founder. Shortly after their first meeting, the student attended a Bible study at Johnson’s residence.

The young believers gave themselves three years before formalizing their relationship, by getting married. After exchanging their vows, Gifford thought it was time to behave like husband and wife, but Johnson shocked her by showing no interest.

A year later, she left the matrimonial bedroom for the guest bedroom, where she remained until the end of their marriage.

“I felt humiliated sleeping in my guest room,” the American actress said.

Although they visited a counselor for advice, it proved futile. According to Gifford, the therapist blamed her for the state of her marriage and advised her to become a housewife. However, the composer objected to this arrangement, exclaiming that he had no intention of preventing her from working.

After the session, the couple did not talk about the experience or even their marital struggles. From then on, things got worse; they lived like strangers, were never intimate and barely spoke to each other.

Gifford didn’t like the atmosphere in her home, but she wasn’t considering divorce either. On the contrary, she wanted to maintain her Christian beliefs believing that God would save this failed marriage.

She was also concerned about her reputation. The actress revealed that divorce was stigmatized at the time and she didn’t want to be the first person in her family to go down that path.

As a result, she continued to live in a relationshipless and seemingly loveless marriage; finding an escape only during his working time. However, in 1982, Johnson ended their relationship without her consent and without her knowledge.


Johnson waited until his wife left for one of her business trips before taking action. When she returned, Gifford saw a “completely ransacked” house. The author added that she felt they were the victims of a heinous theft.

But after moving out and finding that some amenities like the piano were missing, she concluded that Johnson had left her. The composer left a brief note on the kitchen counter.

The memo suggests that Johnson had been planning his actions for a long time. The man also added a phone number for emergencies. Gifford maintained that she couldn’t and still can’t figure out her note.


After Johnson left, Gifford cleaned up her house and got on with her life. Before long, she started her first temp job, which launched her into a life of opportunity and, ultimately, achievement in her career and personal life.

Four years after her divorce, she said “yes” to Frank Gifford, who remained the love of her life until he passed away. The couple had two children.

Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford at the Westport Country Playhouse benefit dinner on October 14, 2004 | Photo: Getty Images

In 2011, the television personality met Johnson. They hugged each other, but kept quiet about their past. Gifford later learned that her ex-husband became a marriage counselor after their separation.


Amid her neglected marriage, the actress struggled to find true love and find meaning in her career. She didn’t wallow in regret or self-pity. Moreover, his confident personality allowed him to overcome obstacles on his way to the top.

In 2017, she revealed that she had been the victim of sexual harassment at the age of 21. The sad incident happened when she received a call from Harvey Weinstein, who promised to manage her career. They met at his home, as he claimed his office was under construction.

“I’m working from home right now, so would you mind coming to my house?”

At his home, Weinstein acted inappropriately by allegedly forcing the young star to watch him masturbate. In the end, she had the choice to leave without being assaulted, and she is grateful to him.

This revelation is synonymous with allegations made against Weinstein by celebrities like Lauren Sivan and Ashley Judd. Weinstein denied some of those allegations, but apologized for others, adding that he would seek professional help.

Bill Cosby, another friend and mentor of Gifford, also allegedly attempted to have an intimate relationship by kissing her without her permission. The actress claimed that she stopped him and that he respected her decision.

However, over the years, famous comedian Bill Cosby has also had numerous cases of harassment. Cosby was sentenced to years in prison after several women proved their stories to be true.

She was harassed more than twice. The first time, earlier in his career, an anonymous man put his hands in his lap in a car. Fortunately, the situation has improved for Gifford, who is making an impact by sharing his story!