Michael Strahan is opening up about his strained relationship with Kelly Ripa.
In an interview with The New York Times, the former “Live! with Kelly and Michael” co-host didn’t deny that there was tension between him and Ripa about his departure from the show.
“When it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up,” he said, later clarifying that there is no hate from his side.
“If people think, ‘Oh, he hates her’ – I don’t hate her. I do respect her for what she can do at her job. I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job,” he said.
Strahan said he tried to address the issues between them.
“One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her. We met a few times, and that was fine. But then eventually she said she didn’t need to meet,” he said. “Can’t force somebody to do something they don’t want to do.”
Without naming a show directly, Strahan explained a selfish nature he felt from working in television.
“On television, I’ve had jobs where I got there and felt like: ‘Wow, I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick. I thought I was coming here to be a partner,'” he said. “I want us all to be successful. I’ve done things where I went in with team concepts, and I got there and realized it’s not about team. It’s selfish, and I don’t operate well under that.”
He also said his departure could have been handled better. Strahan announced he’d be leaving “Live! with Kelly and Michael” for “GMA” on April 19, 2016, with Ripa taking a previously unannounced week off from the show, prompting speculation that she was retaliating for Strahan’s announcement. He officially departed the show May 13, three months earlier than originally announced.
“It was treated as if I was the guy who walked in and said, ‘I’m leaving.’ That part was totally misconstrued, mishandled in every way,” he said. “People who should have handled it better have all apologized, but a lot of the damage had already been done. For me, it was like: Move on. Success is the best thing. Just keep on moving.”
He says he still learned things from his time co-hosting with Ripa.
“You learn how to craft a story. “What did you do last night?” “Oh, I had a glass of water.” But you learn to tell the story to make it seem like the most interesting glass of water. Those are things that I learned from her. She’s brilliant in that way.”