Michael Strahan Talks Kelly Ripa Drama: "I Was Painted as the Bad Guy"
"There was no abandonment," said Strahan.
Michael Strahan opened up about his Live departure and the conflict that ensued with Kelly Ripa following his decision to leave.
"The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself," said Strahan in an interview with People. "I don't want people to see me as 'Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.' That's just not true."
Strahan said he "wasn't surprised" by Ripa's reaction to his departure. Ripa took time off from work following Strahan's announcement he was leaving for Good Morning America.
"I've been there long enough to understand how she reacts to things," said Strahan. He said the only thing that did surprise him was the "stance that was taken" against him. He felt like he was treated like he was a selfish person abandoning Ripa.
"There was no abandonment," said Strahan, adding that the news was delivered three months before he had initially planned on leaving.
The host said he wishes Ripa well, saying she's very talented and he learned a lot from her. "At one point I think we were friends. I don't know what happened at the end," he said.
He stressed that he has no regrets. "I couldn't have done anything better than what I did," said Strahan.
Disney/ABC broadcast executive Ben Sherwood recently talked about the controversy with The Hollywood Reporter, admitting, "We made some mistakes, we fixed them quickly and we moved on."