'Jay and I have made peace'

By Natalie Stone
August 24, 2017 at 07:43 PM EDT
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno have finally ended their longtime feud.

On a recent Awards Chatter podcast with The Hollywood Reporter, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host admitted that he and Leno “made peace” after his baby boy, Billy, underwent open heart surgery as a newborn earlier this year.

“Jay and I have made peace,” Kimmel, 49, shared. “After my son had his operation, he called me and he was very nice.”

Kimmel and Leno’s feud dates back to 2010, when there was a late-night talk show shakeup during which Leno replaced Conan O’Brien as the host of The Tonight Show. Following Kimmel and Leno’s initial back and forth bashing — Kimmel admitted at the time to “sucker-punching” Leno — the two continued in their public squabble, with Kimmel telling Playboy in March 2013, “I always feel bad if I hurt anybody’s feelings, but I don’t believe Jay Leno has actual feelings, and he doesn’t seem to be that worried about other people’s feelings.”

But seven years after the feud first began, they have chosen to bury the hatchet.

“You can’t argue with [Leno’s] success and his longevity,” the Live! host complimented Leno on the podcast. “I will say, when I was in high school and college, he was one of my all-time favorite comics.”

Kimmel’s wife Molly McNearney gave birth to William John “Billy” Kimmel on April 21. At 3 days old, Billy underwent surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles because of his condition —  tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia — that was preventing his lungs from getting enough oxygen.

Back in May, Kimmel revealed in a tearful monologue on his show that Billy was born with the congenital heart disease.

“Basically, the pulmonary valve was completely blocked and he has a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart,” Kimmel previously explained, adding that despite the successful open heart surgery, Billy will have another operation between 3 and 6 months old.

Last month, Kimmel gave an update on Billy, revealing that his youngest child is doing well just three months after he underwent surgery.

“Billy is three months old today and doing great,” he wrote on social media. “Thanks for all your love & support and please remind your Congresspeople that every kid deserves the care Billy got.”

Kimmel and McNearney also share a 3-year-old daughter, Jane. The host has two older children – Kevin and Katie – from a previous relationship.