Kathie Lee Gifford on Why She Contacted Friends Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby Post-Scandal: ‘I Don’t Judge Them’

“I don’t want to throw everybody on the same manure pile,” “Today” host tells Andy Cohen on Sirius XM show

“Today” host Kathie Lee Gifford said that after her friends Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein were accused of sexual assault, she reached out to them because she wants “people to know I don’t judge them.”

“I just want people to know I don’t judge them. I don’t like what they do, but God knows their hearts and there’s hope for them,” she told Andy Cohen on Sirius XM’s “Radio Andy” on Wednesday.

Gifford said that she’s been friends with both Cosby and Weinstein for decades and even though she doesn’t defend their actions, she’s still there to support them.

“You can’t call yourself a friend if the first minute there’s trouble, you run,” she said. “That’s called a fair-weather friend and that’s not a friend at all.”

“I don’t want to throw everybody on the same manure pile. Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist. It just isn’t,” she added.

Cosby was accused by more than 50 women of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them; the comedian denies the claims. Cosby stood trial in 2017, but the jury was deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial.

Weinstein was accused last fall of sexually assaulting several women in Hollywood in two bombshell reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker. He also denies the accusations of more than 60 women who have come forward.

“I hope people are not misunderstanding this. I’m not saying that that kind of behavior is in any way acceptable,” Gifford said on the radio program Wednesday. “It isn’t, and it’s horrible, and as a woman who has experienced it, it’s awful.”

“But can we at least look at each individual case and see it for what it is? And be merciful to people who are sorry for what they’ve done?” she added. “If we stop having mercy as a part of our vocabulary, Andy, our world will completely die.”

Listen to the interview above.