Johnny Carson's long-time lawyer Henry Bushkin released a tell-all biography about his former employer's closely guarded life and one of the most discussed stories to emerge from the account stems back to an alleged affair his wife Joanne had with former Giants' ace Frank Gifford. After Joanne denied the rumours herself, Frank's wife Kathie Lee Gifford has also come forward to shoot down the claim, saying her husband said the whole thing is a lie.
Frank and Kathie have been together for almost thirty years.
The New York Post first reported the alleged affair, citing the new biography from Bushkin. In the extract, Bushkin claims that, upon learning the his wife was having an affair with Gifford in 1962, a gun-totting Carson broke in to Joanne's private Manhattan apartment and found it full of pictures of the former NY Giants star. However Joanne was the first to deny the reports, telling the NY Post that she never had an affair with Gifford, although she did recall that Johnny was "jealous" of her friendship with him. As for the gun part, Joanne said that it was totally bogus, because Johnny was "terrified of guns."
On Tuesday, 8 October, Kathie Lee Gifford appeared on Today to give her own account of things, based on what her husband had told her. At the time, Frank was married to his first wife, Maxine, and he apparently has no memory of being unfaithful with Johnny's wife. She said, 'Tell me, it was long time ago. Did you have an affair with her?' He goes 'I can't remember! Maybe.'
Frank and Kathie Lee married in 1986, 15 years after the alleged affair, and Kathie seemed steadfast in the idea that her now-husband was not capable of starting an affair with another married woman when appearing on Today. She continued, "No, it's not true. That particular one, although we all know what the man is capable of, as you know," referring to the time Frank tasted controversy in the late 90's, amidst reports that he had cheated on Kathie with airline stewardess Suzen Johnson. She added, "Not true."
Kathie doesn't think her husband cheated on Johnny's then-wife.