Tuesday we shared the news that Michael Strahan was leaving Live! with Kelly and Michael in September to move over to Good Morning America full time. By Wednesday, the internet was abuzz with reports Kelly was blindsided by the news, and feels betrayed.
Kelly was noticeably absent from today’s show, with no word yet on when she will return.
Kelly Ripa was absent from Wednesday’s episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael – and a source tells PEOPLE it’s unclear when she’ll return.
“Kelly told ABC she wasn’t coming in last night,” says the source. “They don’t know yet when she’ll be back.”
Another TV source says Ripa is currently “refusing to come back” and that while she could decide to return any time, her plan is not to for the rest of this week.
A different insider told PEOPLE Ripa was “completely blindsided” by the Tuesday announcement that her co-host Michael Strahan would be leaving the talk show to join Good Morning America as a full time co-anchor in September.
Of Strahan, 44, the TV source says: “He’s a class act. He’s trying to do what he thinks is right, that’s important to him.”
A rep for Live! told PEOPLE Ripa “had the day off,” and Ana Gasteyer filled in for the star Wednesday morning.
Strahan, 44, meanwhile, took a moment to address his co-host of four years at the end of Wednesday’s segment.
“I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa,” he said. “Kelly welcomed me here, and I’ve learned so much from her. She’s just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be here with her.”
“And I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly … and the staff here because everybody here is so talented,” he added. “This show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake.”
“Kelly, I thank you. I love you and everyone else here at Live!, and I’m not going to cry on TV momma, I promise you,” he concluded.
TMZ reported that Kelly feels betrayed, and that Strahan “stabbed her in the back.”
Kelly Ripa believes Michael Strahan stabbed her in the back by not telling her he was bailing on her.
Sources connected to Kelly and ‘Live’ tell us, although Michael was under strict orders by Disney CEO Bob Iger not to tell anyone about his move to ‘GMA,’ she feels as a colleague who played a critical role in his rise to fame on TV … he should have given her a heads-up.
As we reported, Michael sat down with Kelly, EP Michael Gelman and the General Manager of WABC at 10:30 AM Tuesday, just as Disney made the announcement.
What’s more … we’re told Kelly and Michael don’t get along. Our sources say she feels he’s disrespectful to her and is full of himself. Apparently Michael often rolls with an entourage and it doesn’t sit well with her.
Our sources say Michael reached out to Kelly after the announcement but she has not responded. At the end of Wednesday’s show, he extended an olive branch by singing Kelly’s praises.
This is interesting because throughout all the seasons, it was always reported how well Kelly and Michael got along. There were even rumors they were “too friendly” at one point because of how well they (supposedly) got along. To go on a media blitz now trying to trash Strahan’s character (if the TMZ report/source is accurate) is unfortunate. BUT EVEN SO, if it’s true they don’t get along and the past stories that they did are all manufactured…then why is anyone mad or betrayed that he’s leaving?