The story behind Hoda Kotb and her ex-husband Burzis Kanga’s relationship

The story behind Hoda Kotb and her ex-husband Burzis Kanga’s relationship

Hoda Kotb, the beloved host of the Today show, recently announced her engagement to Joel Schiffman, her boyfriend of six years. The couple, who have two adopted children together, shared the happy news with viewers on November 25, 2019. However, this isn’t Hoda’s first foray into marriage. Her engagement to Joel comes over a decade after her divorce from her ex-husband, Burzis Kanga.

Hoda and Burzis met on Valentine’s Day at a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Their romance was swift, with Burzis proposing in May 2005, and the couple tying the knot that December in Punta Cana. At the time, Burzis was the head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams at the University of Louisiana, while Hoda was a news anchor for a local station in New Orleans.

Their marriage faced significant challenges, particularly after Hurricane Katrina in 2006, which left Burzis dealing with a flooded apartment and other personal hardships. These difficulties, combined with other personal issues, led Hoda to serve Burzis with divorce papers. The divorce was finalized on February 6, 2008, just a year after Hoda filed for it.

In a candid interview with Radar Online nearly a decade after their divorce, Burzis reflected on their relationship and the reasons behind their split. He cited “differences” and personal hardships as the main factors. “We had some differences,” he said. “My father was ill. She was ill. It was a difficult time. Those were personal reasons for both of us.” At the time of their divorce, Hoda had been diagnosed with breast cancer, adding to the strain on their marriage.

Burzis also acknowledged that immaturity played a role in their separation. “In hindsight, there was a level of immaturity on my part, mistakes I made. It was unfortunate we were married for a short time. It’s a shame it transpired that way,” he admitted. Despite the challenges and the eventual end of their marriage, Burzis spoke fondly of Hoda, saying, “I will always cherish our memories. She is the epitome of class. I think the world of her. We had great memories together.”

Hoda’s new fiancé, Joel Schiffman, has been a significant part of her life for several years. Initially, Hoda kept Joel’s identity a secret, likely due to her past experiences with Burzis. However, as their relationship grew stronger, more details about Joel emerged. According to his LinkedIn profile, Joel works in finance as the “Head of US Defined Contribution and Insurance Sales at Schroder Investment Management.”

Together, Hoda and Joel have built a loving family, adopting two daughters, Haley Joy and Hope Catherine. Joel also has a grown daughter from a previous marriage. Their engagement took place during a vacation in Mexico, with Joel proposing in a romantic setting on the beach. “I was totally shocked… he had a good poker face,” Hoda shared with her co-hosts on the Today show.

Hoda Kotb’s journey from her marriage with Burzis Kanga to her engagement with Joel Schiffman is a testament to her resilience and ability to find love and happiness despite past hardships. Her story is one of overcoming personal challenges, including her battle with breast cancer, and finding joy in new beginnings.

Source: Getty Images, YouTube, Radar Online

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