“I was talking to Al earlier in the green room, and he was telling me — I was asking him if he ever does, you know, Kathie & Regis, he was telling me how he used to co-host with Kathie Lee,” recounted the show’s executive producer Gary Dell-Abate. “He said he kissed her and grabbed her ass.”
Franken doesn’t deny the telling Dell-Abate he “kissed her and grabbed her ass,” and the conversation then shifts to other topics, including Franken being happily married.
About 12 minutes later after the first discussion of Kathie Lee, a caller, nicknamed “Big Black,” calls in to say that the National Enquirer columnist, Mike Walker, reported six months earlier that Kathy Lee Gifford asked her show’s staff to never book Franken as a co-host again, citing his inappropriate touching. The column reportedly stated that Franken “grabbed her ass” after a broadcast.
“Did you grab Kathie Lee’s ass?”t
“She grabbed my ass,” Franken replied, perhaps joking.