Katie Lee Gifford's life on TV might seem like she has it all together, but the show host has been through rough times in her love life and marriage.
Hollywood star Katie Lee Gifford has had it tough when it comes to love. The star was married to former NFL champ Frank Gifford for many years, and their marriage endured rocky times until his death.
Frank was far from perfect, and he had at one point caused her great pain in the marriage, but there was a time he has also been her source of joy. Katie and Frank met in the 1980s and were pals despite being with other people.
Kathie Lee Gifford attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
Katie once recalled that Frank was her shoulder to cry on each time she experienced marital issues with her former spouse. Eventually, she went through a bad breakup, and Frank took her under his wings.
Katie noted that they did not fall in love but rather "grew in love," despite the 23-year age difference, which did not bother them. For the most part, Katie was only concerned about how to keep up with the new man she loved.
While their romance blossomed, Frank went through an acrimonious divorce with his wife, Astrid. Months after the divorce was finalized, he and Katie tied the knot on a beach in Bridgehampton.
Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the opening night of "Cyrano" on Broadway at The Richard Rodgers Theater November 1, 2007 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
In March 1990, the "Katie Lee & Hoda Show" star welcomed her first child, Cody Gifford. After that, Frank wasted no time plunging into dad mode, although it was fatherhood at a later part of his life.
The late sports star thought it would be great to have a second child so that Cody could have a companion. However, after Katie got pregnant the second time, she had a miscarriage.
This dealt a huge blow to her, even as she shared the sad news on TV. Fortunately, she and Frank tried for a baby again, and in 1993, they had a daughter, Cassidy Gifford.
INSIDE KATIE AND FRANK'S UNION
Kathie Lee Gifford, Cody and Cassidy and Frank Gifford. | Source: Getty Images
The couple's years of struggling with the miscarriage and eventually getting another child seemed like they had weathered the storms, but it was only a fraction of it.
In 1997, Frank was entangled in tabloid drama when he cheated with another woman at a hotel. This period could not have been worse for Katie, who was going through some drama of her own.
The TV star had been accused of using sweatshop labor to make her Walmart clothing line. While she tried dealing with that scandal, her spouse's cheating scandal caught up with her.
Former Sportcaster Frank Gifford and Television personality Kathy Lee Gifford attend the Bal Du Prentemps Benefit for the Parkinsons Disease Foundation on May 18, 2004 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Speaking about the tumultuous period in an interview, Katie noted that she had been devastated. The star sank into a deep depression, noting that many people were unaware. She shared:
"You feel hopeless and you don't want to live anymore."
Actress Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford attend the American Theatre Wing's 2009 Spring Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 1, 2009 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Katie and Frank tried picking up the pieces of their marital woes by going to counseling, but it was a challenging period. She shared that if cheating were a chronic behavior from Frank, she would have left.
The star recalled her previous marriage, noting she would not be with a chronically cheating husband.
The book author recalled that the marriage counselor asked her to forgive her husband as the father of her children, which made all the difference. She noted that forgiving him was the right thing to do.
Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford during Opening Night of Fiddler on the Roof Broadway Revival at The Minskoff Theatre in New York, New York, United States. | Source: Getty Images
She became close to him again, noting that she prayed to God, and the attraction in their marriage returned. She described Frank as a "very good, dear, generous man," and she valued all these things about him. The star included:
"The person you loved the most in your life is the person that can hurt you the most."
Cody and Cassidy were too young to understand what was going on during their marriage crisis. Their mom shared that she did not want to uproot the family structure they were getting used to. She recalled how a friend strengthened this point, saying:
"If you can't forgive your husband, forgive your children's father."
FRANK PASSES ON
In August 2015, Katie and her son, Cody, found her husband unresponsive in their home. This quickly escalated into something devastating as doctors confirmed that he had passed on.
According to Katie, the most difficult part was when she needed to call her daughter, Cassidy, back home. She recalled that the young lady had been on a flight but was told to go home during a stopover.
The actress and her kids stood by each other and handled the pain of losing the father figure. She told People in an interview that her kids were with her on her first day back at work following her husband's death.
Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC News' "Today" show. | Source: Getty Images
She described Frank as a beautiful man who lived fully and loved deeply. Katie stated that her late husband had a generous heart and an amazing legacy that touched lives.
According to Katie, Frank, who passed on at 84, had just gotten "the best medical report" one week before his death. However, Frank did have some underlying health issues related to old age.
His family relayed that he had become forgetful, leaving his car keys in weird places. At that time, they suspected he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
KATIE FOUND LOVE AGAIN
Life after Frank's death was indeed challenging for the mom of two. She has spent a good fraction of her life with him, and it wasn't easy moving on.
However, Katie did find other love interests with time. Speaking with Extra in 2021, she made it known that she had dated a few times, but it had not been successful.
Also, in 2021, Katie opened up to her fellow star on "Today" that she had someone special in her life again. The star grinned from ear to ear as she noted that the person was "nice, fun, and healthy."
The award-winning host did not want to let out too much, but she made it known that the new man in her life was "the smartest person she had ever met.