Kelly Ripa, who has been the leading lady on Live! for the past 22 years and one of the most famous broadcasters of all time, said she nearly quit the program as her contract expired and as she was still being treated unfairly by ABC executives. “I think they had to pay me very fairly,” she said in a profile published on May 28.
Kelly, 52, revealed several more examples of abusive treatment she's received from ABC executives over the years despite anchoring the program for two decades. Three men have recently stepped down, with two of whom famously left the program without warning to Kelly. It was the first time Kelly heard about her.
"It was a very difficult," she said. "Had I known how difficult it would have been, I don't know that I would have chosen it." My ignorance in that situation ended up being my blessing and my superpower. I did not have a great time."
Kelly's mistreatment extended beyond surprise host changes. She disclosed that while her male counterpart had a private bathroom, she had to use the same bathroom as the entire production team and studio audience. "I have to host the program," she said. "I'm still waiting in line to use the bathroom."
Despite her role as the most-watched syndicated talk show on TV, she claimed she had to fight her way into a decent office that was being "saved" for executives and future male co-hosts. In the meantime — and for years — she was using a janitor's closet as an office. "It made no sense," she said of ABC.
After Michaels' sudden departure, the New Jersey native said she pushed her way into an actual office. "And they said, 'Well, for when the new guy comes,' she said. "I just moved my things."
Ryan Seacrest, 48, who has been with Kelly's side on Live! since 2017, announced his retirement earlier this year, although Kelly was aware of the change. She admitted she still has some unwelcome fears about the upcoming change.
Ryan's final day on Live! with Kelly and Ryan will be on Friday, April 14.