Kelly Ripa made an apparent dig at co-host Ryan Seacrest on Wednesday over the allegations of sexual harassment he is facing, and it has led to reports that there is a fractured relationship between the two.
The Live host appeared to make reference to the scandal on Wednesday’s show, hitting Seacrest about the allegations that he pushed his former stylist’s head toward his crotch while she was tying his shoe. On Wednesday’s show, Kelly Ripa seemed to make light of the alleged incident.
“Do you want me to put your shoes back on for you?” Ripa asked him (via Page Six).
“You don’t mind, do you?” Seacrest answered.
As Page Six noted, many took that to be a reference to the sexual harassment allegations from Suzie Hardy, and it comes just as those allegations are back in the news. A separate Page Six report on Wednesday cited an anonymous source who claimed to have witnessed the sexual harassment.
Another insider said the apparent reference to Seacrest’s scandal shows there are “cracks” in the relationship between the two hosts. The on-air bit earned quite a bit of attention, with some taking aim at Kelly Ripa for appearing to make light of the allegations and to bring the issue to the show’s millions of viewers.
In a story about her dig, The Wrap called it “ill-timed” and many people across social media seemed to agree. The allegations have been particularly polarizing, with many defending Seacrest while others questioning why he has not suffered the same punishment as other powerful men accused of sexual abuse who have seen their projects cut off. Seacrest has been able to keep working on his many hosting projects, even while others like Kevin Spacey have been essentially exiled from show business.
It is not clear if there is any truth to the rumor that the relationship between Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest is fractured. The morning hosts have been popular targets for tabloid reports, which have often been off the mark. Ripa has also been involved in some morning-show drama in the past as well, especially the difficult departure of Michael Strahan from the show last year.
For his part, Ryan Seacrest continues to deny any wrongdoing.