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Kathie Lee Gifford Defends Weinstein, Cosby: ‘Being a Jerk Isn’t the Same as Being a Rapist’

Kathie Lee Gifford expressed support for Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein — two alleged sexual assaulters she described as friends, despite dozens of credible accusations against each of them — in a Tuesday interview on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM pop culture show, Radio Andy.

The daytime television personality, who co-hosts the 10 AM hour of Today, said she suffered multiple experiences of sexual abuse throughout her life, while simultaneously defending the two embattled men at the epicenter of the Me Too movement.

“You can’t call yourself a friend when the first minute where there’s trouble, you run,” Gifford said. “I am not saying that kind of behavior is in any way acceptable — it isn’t and it’s horrible, as a woman who experienced it, it’s awful — but can we at least look at every individual case and see it for what it is and be merciful to people who are sorry for what they’ve done?”

Neither Cosby nor Weinstein have made public apologies since the allegations against them made international headlines last year. Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by over 50 women — many of them claiming to have been drugged by the Hollywood actor — while Weinstein has been accused by over 80.

Gifford went on to say she called and spoke with Cosby after allegations against him were unearthed, and left a voicemail for Weinstein when news broke about his reported abuse. “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.”

A judge denied Cosby’s request to toss out a sexual assault case against him earlier this month. Weinstein is also facing legal troubles, as the Los Angeles D.A. reviews two investigations into his alleged sexual misconduct.

“Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist,” Hoda added.

Listen to a clip of Gifford’s interview on Radio Andy above.

[image via screengrab]

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