Great Britain

Today’s Kathie Lee Gifford says in new book she lost virginity on wedding night to first husband in ‘sexless marriage’

KATHIE Lee Gifford confessed that she lost her virginity to her first husband, Paul Johnson, but that the couple had a “sexless marriage” before their divorce. 

Though the television personality has stayed mostly private about her first marriage, she opened up about the relationship in her intimate new memoir, It’s Never Too Late. 

The 67-year-old gave fans a rare glimpse into her time martial time with the composer - whom she was married to from 1976-1983. 

In her book, she wrote: “The truth is, it was only a marriage in the pages of the law. 

“Though Paul and I were married, we shared only one thing - our faith.”

The TV personality revealed: "I was a virgin on my wedding night with Paul, and still considered myself one when he left me five years later.

“It’s hard even now to explain why I stayed so long in a sexless marriage. I certainly would never do it again. 

“But back then divorce had much more of a stigma, and no one in my family was divorced. 

“I believed that God could heal our marriage and prayed every day that He would."

She continued: "Before we married, Paul told me that he was a virgin too. 

“We talked about how we wanted to honor God’s Word and present ourselves as a gift to the person we would eventually marry. 

“But after we were married he wanted nothing to do with me. Nothing.

“I was excited about starting a life with someone, but he didn’t feel the same way. I felt humiliated sleeping in my guest room.”

The former Today Show host claimed that she had “never been truly intimate” with her first husband and later in their marriage, they had “stopped talking too.”

Kathie Lee said that she only felt joy when she “escape the despair of her marriage” and “lose herself in work”

The author penned she began to attend couple’s counseling with Paul but called it a “disaster.” 

She claimed that Paul eventually ended the marriage without consulting her as she had been on the road for three weeks. 

When she returned to a near-empty home, she described it as “completely trashed.”

"My first thought was, Oh my God, we’ve been robbed! Then I noticed that the piano was missing, and it dawned on me, No, he’s left me.

“I had had no warning. There had been no discussion of a separation. Nothing,” she exclaimed. 

Kathie continued of the devastating split: “In the kitchen I found a short note on the counter that said, 'Maybe now you’ll know that I mean it,' with a phone number in case of emergency.

“To this day I have no idea what he meant. Nothing in my young life had prepared me for such a shock.”

Since their emotional split, Kathie Lee said she has only seen Paul one time, in 2011, and that he “humourously” went on to become a marriage counselor after their breakup. 

Kathie Lee found love again with NFL star turned sports broadcaster, Frank Gifford - who was 23 years her senior. 

The couple wed in 1986 and share two kids together - son Cody, 30, and daughter Cassidy, 27.

In August 2015, Frank passed away suddenly from natural causes at his Connecticut home at the age of 84. 

Today's Hoda Kotb holds back tears as Kathie Lee Gifford gushes over her two daughters and says 'God has blessed you!'

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