Kathie Lee Gifford: I lent Kris Jenner money and told her to do a reality show

Can you imagine if you knew Kris Jenner back in the day, lent her money and told her to do a reality show? I don’t know if I could keep that quiet. My first thought is that I would tell everyone that Keeping Up With The Kardashians was my idea. Then again, would you really want to take credit for that? That’s something you might not want people to know you’re responsible for. So I understand why it took Kathie Lee Gifford a while to come out with this information. Kathie Lee knew Kris Jenner decades ago after they met through church. I guess Kris was hurting financially post-divorce, so Kathie Lee gave her a loan and told her to consider reality TV. The rest is history, except Kris never paid her back or gave her credit that I could find.

“Kris was having financial problems,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I loaned Kris money years ago because they needed it. They were really struggling.”

And all these years later, the Today show host kids that she’s still looking for her reimbursement check in the mail.

“I want that money back!” she jokes.

Gifford says she and Jenner became instant friends when they met while living in California in the 1970s.

“We used to go to Bible study together,” she says. “We became very, very close friends. She was still married to Robert [Kardashian] and the children were very little.”

Even then, the Kardashian home was a prime place for a celebrity encounter.

“It was an insane environment. I would be there with Frank and we would be walking in and the Jackson Five would be walking out. And then as I’m leaving, Wayne Gretzky would be walking in and then an uber-model would be, and a rapper,” she says. “It was like central casting. You have to see it to believe it.”

And after passing on doing a reality series with her own family “many, many times” to keep her professional and private lives separate (“I think it’s very important to make your living one way and then go home to the people that actually are your life,” she explains), Gifford encouraged Jenner to pursue a show of her own.

“This is when reality television was just getting a hold, I told Kris, ‘You guys of all people in the world should have a reality series. You should, it’s made for your beautiful children. You and [then-husband Caitlyn Jenner] at this point now are so interesting.’ Their dynamic was so interesting,” she recalls.

[From People]

Kathie Lee, 65, is leaving Today, her last day is April 5, so she’s dishing the dirt. I want to know how much money Kathie Lee gave Kris and if Kris is going to ever pay her back. You know Kris wouldn’t pay interest, she seems cheap like that. I get the impression that Kathie Lee just wants some recognition. Kathie Lee did go on Kris’s short-lived talk show in 2013 to talk about their friendship. Remember that? Also, Kathie Lee and Frank’s daughter, Cassidy, told People in 2015 that E! kept offering her family a reality show that they turned down. Her mother told Kris Jenner to do it instead.

Kathie Lee and Hoda recorded a new brief video that’s on Facebook. Kathie Lee talks about her motto that her “joy is non-negotiable” and that joy should not be dependent on one’s circumstances, which is good advice. She also said that The Holy Spirit is inside her and guides her. After this Kathie Lee is moving from her current home in Greenwich, CT to Nashville, TN. Her husband Frank passed in 2015 and her two kids are grown and living in Los Angeles. She appreciates the music and creativity in Nashville and wants to focus on writing and creating Christian movies. There’s a huge market for that.



photos credit: WENN

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25 Responses to “Kathie Lee Gifford: I lent Kris Jenner money and told her to do a reality show”

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  1. egot says:

    Stop moving to nashville!!!!!!

  2. Michael says:

    I think what she did was tacky. Clearly it was an attempt to embarrass Kris Jenner. Also why wait until you retire to say this? I have never been a fan of Kathy Lee Gifford so that may be coloring my view but I thought it was classless to air out other people in public

    • Megan says:

      I canceled her when a reporter discovered her clothing line was made in sweatshops in China. Kathy was crying and denying on air the next morning even though the article uncovered extensive proof.

    • Jamie says:

      I agree. It really was a tacky thing to say. If she truly wanted the money back, she could’ve asked privately at any time. To spill this information in the press is designed only to put Kris in a bad light.
      And I say this as someone who can’t stand any of the Kardashian/Jenners.

  3. NotHeidisGirl says:

    So this is all your fault??? Damn, Kathie Lee! All the bible study won’t clear you of THAT!

    • Raina says:

      I never personally met a human being that went to a bible study and came out doing what Jesus would do lol.

      Meh. Kathy needs some cash and headlines before she exits center stage. The bitterness is strong with this one. Also, if I lend someone money, the only people who will ever know about it is us. I fully expect the possibility of never seeing a cent of it again and dispense accordingly. “Lend” at your own risk.
      Taking a cheap shot makes one look cheap.
      And, its no breaking news that Kris is a social climber of Olympic proportions. She is business woman first and forever. This is why she is wealthy. I don’t doubt she loves her kids…and I don’t doubt she learned a few things from Joe Jackson.

  4. Tamara Wiley says:

    So she’s also partially to blame..ugh

  5. Renee2 says:

    Of course I’ve read the story and am commenting on it but I think that it was shitty of Kathy Lee to do this. On the other hand, if it was a significant amount of money and she hasn’t repaid her perhaps KLG feels taken advantage of and is putting her on blast for that reason. But I suspect it is more owed to the fact that KLG is messy and inappropriate.

    • LoonyTunes says:

      That’s kind of what came to mind for me—that it was a big sum of money that Kris has never bothered to pay back and that has irked Kathie Lee for years, as Kris got richer and richer off that seed money.

  6. perplexed says:

    I wouldn’t want to take credit for this….

    I can’t believe Kris Jenner went to Bible study. Huh. Okay.

  7. Lena says:

    The question I have is why was kris so broke? She made sure she always married well. First a big time attorney then a Olympic athlete who was the most famous athlete of his time who had many endorsements. I Guess she always felt entitled to spend way above her means.

  8. Melissa says:

    First thing that popped into my head was ….”she was really struggling….” Struggling for what? That she could not buy the latest pair of Gucci shoes? Please.🙄

    • me says:

      That’s what I was wondering. She moved on to Bruce Jenner quickly after divorcing Robert didn’t she? Imagine the amount of child/spousal support she probably got from Robert. Also, she had TWO more kids with Bruce. If you are financially struggling, why have MORE kids? Lastly, it’s shady as f*ck to not re-pay someone money you borrowed from, especially when you became richer than them ! Maybe Kathie thought now is her last chance to get that money by making it public info lol the Kardashians love pr anyways !

    • lucy2 says:

      She only afford three luxury cars, not four! Oh the humanity.
      At no point could she have ever been so broke as to be considered “struggling”.

      It’s tacky to talk about all this, but I will give KLG credit for not subjecting her children to a reality show. They had enough drama from their parents.
      Also tacky of Kris not to pay back the money after striking rich (by pimping her daughters out) even if it was a gift.

  9. Suz says:

    Thanks for initiating the downfall of society, you wino.

  10. Harryg says:

    Anyone whose idea that show was, I hate. I hate them DEEPLY.
    I want to go back in time and erase that show. I want to erase that family from my internet and magazine pages. I want to erase their crap products. I hope their ass fat slowly falls at their ankles.

    • holly hobby says:

      OMG I laughed so hard over this!

      • i have loaned money to friends over the years because I was more fortunate and i would never ever publicly humiliate any of them like that i would love to know the amount loaned and how long its been I think this is a case of 2 bads Kathy Lee shouldnt have taken this public like she has and if Kris Jenner owes the money she is certainly is in a position to pay her back

    • Meg says:

      The young impressionable people who follow them on social media scares me for our future.

  11. Veronica S. says:

    Don’t know if I’d want to take credit for calling down the eleventh and most modern of God’s plagues upon the Earth, but you do you, Kathie. Suppose it’s less messy than killing the second borns or something.

  12. Astrid says:

    I know these ladies aren’t spring chickens and they’re on TV as professionals but holy cow are they tweaked to the max. The last pic is painful

  13. Greatdane813 says:

    That’s odd, because I remember Ryan Seacrest claiming HE got the Ks their reality show KUWTK

  14. Greatdane813 says:

    I checked on the KUWTK Wikipedia page and this is sentence 2: The show focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian–Jenner blended family. Its premise originated with Ryan Seacrest, who also serves as an executive producer

  15. Beezers says:

    Maybe she’ll eat a sandwich once she’s retired!