In the heartfelt new book about her life, ET reports that she briefly touches on being a victim of sexual assault and being date raped when she was younger.
“People don’t know things like that. If I wanted to share them, I would’ve told the whole story,” the former Today host told ET. “I just thought it was enough to say, ‘No, I get you. I see you. I went through that too.”
The daytime TV legend didn’t go into too much detail, but wanted to assure other women who are survivors of abuse that they are not alone, and hopes they can feel empowered by her speaking out.
“That what that’s about. There’s very, very few women in this industry who weren’t subjected to that kind of behavior and that kind of abuse,” she added. “You know, I’m not gonna name names there. They know who they are.”
One of the many misconceptions Gifford believes that people have about her life is that it “seems easy,” she told PEOPLE, but notes that, “nobody’s life is.”
While reflecting on her difficult first marriage to composer Paul Johnson from 1976-1983, to being a tabloid target in the early ‘90s, to the tragic passing of her late husband Frank, Gifford realized that “the past is not your favorite place to visit,” but that once you do, you learn a lot about yourself.
“If I can look back on things with a deeper wisdom now, and If I can share that with people and it helps them, then it’s worth it,” she said.
The 67-year-old icon has always been religious and admits that faith is what has helped her through the dark times. “I choose to live in life abundantly, I choose to trust God,” she told PEOPLE.