Michael Strahan may have left Live! with Kelly and Michael for more than one reason. While the former NFL star was offered a full-time spot on Good Morning America, behind-the-scenes drama may have made his decision to leave Kelly Ripa even easier. Were Ripa’s actions off camera the real reason Strahan blindsided her with his exit?
An inside source told OK! Magazine that Ripa was a true diva when the cameras stopped rolling. Not only was she difficult to manage, but Ripa also demanded a lot from the network.”Kelly is a lot to handle,” an insider explained. “People are starting to wonder if Kelly is worth all of the drama. She demands that ABC pay for her wardrobe, a new outfit every day which she gets to keep.”
It is estimated that Ripa makes around $20 million a year for her time on the show. Plus a huge wardrobe allowance and she even makes the network pay for beauty treatments, such as Botox. She also demands that ABC drive all three of her children to school every day.
Along with being a burden to the network, Ripa and Strahan had issues of their own off-set. Although Ripa selected Strahan as her co-host back in 2012, tensions started to rise following his success on the show. Eventually, things got worse and Ripa turned a cold shoulder towards Strahan.
“Kelly wasn’t very nice to Michael as his fame started to rise,” the insider shared, adding that Ripa even refused to take pictures with Strahan.
Of course, Strahan blew the lid off everything when he announced his sudden departure to take a spot on Good Morning America. According to Us Magazine, Ripa took some extra time off work after his announcement to gather her thoughts. After all, this marks the second time a co-host of Ripa’s has left her abruptly and without proper notice. Regis Philbin also left Kelly Ripa’s co-host chair very suddenly.
Upon her formal return to the show this week, Ripa addressed fans in a special monologue. In her speech, Ripa thanked fans for their support and admitted that she needed the time away to work through her emotions.
“I gained some perspective. I always speak from the heart. I didn’t want to come out here and just, like, say something I might regret,” she stated. “So what transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
The fact that Ripa was left out of the loop angered many fans. According to The Washington Post, this kind of office politics is common in the television business, though it does not make it right. Furthermore, many fans have a lot of emotion built into the show, especially considering how it is the second most watched morning show on television.
Meanwhile, Ripa went on to add that her show would continue on after Strahan leaves for his new gig on Good Morning America. For his part, Strahan expressed his gratitude for being on the show and thanked her for bringing him on board in the first place.
“I’m so happy you’re back. And one thing I know about you is you love the show. You love the fans. You love this staff. I love you,” Strahan stated. “And I’m so happy you’re here because you brought me here with [Michael] Gelman and this show has — it’s been transforming for me.”
Strahan’s last show is scheduled for May 13. Following his exit, a rotating roster of co-hosts, which includes Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, and Josh Groban, will join Kelly
Fans can watch Live! with Kelly and Michael on ABC every morning.
Tell us! Do you think Michael Strahan should have handled telling Kelly Ripa about his exit from Live! in a different way? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via ABC]