Longtime NBC anchor Hoda Kotb recently announced her breakup with Joel Schiffman after more than seven years together. The former couple plan to stay friends to raise their adopted daughters.
Hoda Kotb and her longtime lover, Joel Schiffman, recently announced their split. The news is heartbreaking for many fans of the NBC anchor who have long admired the strength of their relationship.
Kotb can count on the loyalty and support of her die-hard fans to help her get through her pain. Since her days as a local news anchor in the early ’90s, the 57-year-old has enjoyed the affection of her viewers.
Fans love the “Today” host for her lively personality and sense of humor. Kotb and her co-host, Savannah Guthrie, made NBC’s “Today” one of the most-watched shows in the country.
Aside from her skills as a TV presenter, Kotb is a proven journalist who has covered some of the best parts of recent history, including the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, the 2005 Hurricane Katrina story, and the war between Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kotb also hosted the weekly syndicated series “Your Total Health” from 2004 to 2008 and conducted exclusive interviews with political figures such as Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Her career is well-decorated with several titles and awards. However, Kotb’s personal life has been filled with ups and downs. The iconic presenter has endured a series of heartbreaks, including a failed marriage.
AN UNSUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE
Kotb’s first attempt at marriage came more than a decade ago to Burzis Kanga. The former couple met at a Valentine’s Day event for the American Heart Association in New Orleans, where Kanga grew up.
Kanga had left his legacy in the “Big Easy” as the head of men’s and women’s tennis coach at the University of New Orleans at the time they met. His life was affected by Hurricane Katrina, which wrecked his apartment.
Kotb spent most of her early years as a television reporter in New Orleans. She met Kanga a year and a half after moving to the city. The duo fell in love and began a relationship.
However, she later moved to New York City after landing a job with Dateline NBC, but she continued a shaky relationship with him.
Things became more serious between the lovebirds, and in May 2005, Kanga proposed. In December of that year, the couple walked down the aisle in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Their early years together were remarkable. In a 2006 interview with New Orleans Living, Kotb confessed her love and admiration for her former prince charming. She said, “If I would have known it was this much fun, I probably would have done it a long time ago!”
Sadly, life did not turn out well for these two. Kotb filed for divorce in February 2007, and the couple officially split a year later. Kanga claimed things had gotten intense between them as they battled difficult moments.
Reflecting on their years together, Kanga said he was filled with praise for Kotb and regretted the short duration of their marriage, which he claimed his immaturity at the time had caused.
KOTB’S CANCER BATTLE
Kotb faced one of the most challenging battles of her life in 2007 after going through a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer. The iconic journalist faced a battle for her life as the disease took her by surprise.
After many months of speculating on their wedding, fans were shocked when the couple released a statement to announce their split.
In a chat with singer Olivia, who battled cancer for over three decades, Kotb revealed that before her diagnosis, she was living a healthy life and enjoying the time of her life with her now ex-husband.
Sadly, she felt a lump in her breast during one routine check, and it began a cycle of misery for the TV host. Fortunately, Kotb had a positive outlook on her health and was confident she would win the health battle.
Although she regained her health, the cancer battle wreaked havoc in her life. First, the “Today” host could not conceive due to the treatment, shattering her dreams of becoming a mom.
Secondly, the cancer scare put a strain on her first marriage, causing them to split after a short period together. Kotb received cancer treatment while Kanga said his father was ill, making their union difficult.
MEETING JOEL SCHIFFMAN
Years after her first marriage ended, Kotb began an 8-year relationship with Joel Schiffman, a financier. The former couple met for the first time in the summer of 2013 after Kotb spoke at a Wall Street event.
After her speech, the stunning show host signed books when Schiffman unexpectedly approached her and asked her to sign a book for him. The moment left an impression, and the duo struck up a friendship.
For the first two years, Kotb and Schiffman kept their relationship private. The couple finally went public, with the NBC anchor stating that “He’s a guy that gives me butterflies again at 50.”
In 2016, the “Today” show host announced that they had moved in together. Speaking of their relationship at the time, Kotb said,
“It’s a little weird to be in your 50s, and we’re like, ‘Hey, we’re moving in!’ It’s like we’re kids. It’s so weird.”
Kotb later added that “It’s been so long since I’ve lived with someone, I’m a little concerned with me — not him. Like, how I am, as a human? You know, it’s not going to be easy for poor Joel.”
Life with the handsome financier was all Kotb had dreamed of. The journalist felt the joy of youthful love all over again, and she once said she would be with him “until last breath.”
FINALLY A MOM
Having found the perfect man, Kotb decided to pursue her dream of becoming a mom. The couple moved to adopt their first daughter, Haley Joy, in 2017. The 57-year-old took time off work to bond with her little girl.
Kotb was emotional about becoming a mom after years of craving the experience. The Oklahoma native adopted another girl in 2019 named Hope. Kotb said she was finally proud to tell everyone she had kids.
Kotb’s joy knew no bounds after her longtime boyfriend, Schiffman, popped the question in late 2019. The proposal was a surprise to the NBC show host. However, she excitedly gave a big yes.
THEIR BIG SPLIT
After many months of speculating on their wedding, fans were shocked when the couple released a statement to announce their split, which they claimed came after prayerful and thoughtful considerations.
The former lovebirds added that they would continue to remain friends for the sake of their daughters. The mom of two went on to add that there was no rift between her and Schiffman, but instead, their relationship was only meant for a season.