Kathie Lee Gifford on Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby: "I Don't Judge Them"

During an interview with Radio Andy, the Today host said she reached out to both men after their scandals

By Elyse Dupre Mar 15, 2018 1:55 PMTags
Kathie Lee Gifford Monica Schipper/WireImage

Kathie Lee Gifford has shown mercy towards Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby.

During Wednesday's episode of Radio Andy, the Today host revealed she contacted both men after they were separately accused of sexual misconduct. 

Gifford told host Andy Cohen she's had her own experiences with predators; however, she doesn't hold all of her experiences with sexual misconduct at the same level.

"I personally, since I got into this business as a teenage girl, I have been sexually harassed, I have been sexually abused and I have been date raped—and don't tell me they're all the same [because] they are not. They are not the same," she said. "Unless you've been through it and you can say it's the same, then fine. If it was the same to you, OK—not the same to me. And I don't want to throw everyone on the same manure pile." 

She then added, "Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist—it just isn't."

After Cohen asked Gifford if she's contacted Cosby, who faces a sexual assault retrial this April, she said, "Yes, I've been friends with Bill a long, long time."

She also said that Weinstein was a friend of hers for 30 years. When Cohen asked Gifford if she's spoken to the disgraced producer—who's been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape—the anchor said, "No, but I called him and left a message."

Weinstein has also denied, through his spokesperson, "any allegations of non-consensual sex."

While Gifford didn't condone Weinstein's and Cosby's behavior, she also said she didn't judge them.

"I just want people to know I don't judge them," she said. "I don't like what they do—but God knows their hearts and there's hope for them. You can't call yourself a friend when the first minute where there's trouble, you run. That's called a fair-weather friend and that's not a friend at all." 

She then called upon listeners to show some mercy. 

"I hope people are not misunderstanding this. I am not saying that that kind of behavior is in anyway acceptable. It isn't, and it's horrible. As a woman who's experienced it, it's awful," she said. "But, can we at least look at each individual case and see it for what it is, and be merciful to people that are sorry for what they've done? If we stop having mercy as a part of our vocabulary, Andy, our world will completely die."

Click on the video to listen to the interview.

According to The Washington Post, at least 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual harassment or rape. He has denied these claims. The Cosby Show star was also accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault. 

His first trial ended in a mistrial.

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