Kelly Ripa (Hayley, ALL MY CHILDREN) returned to LIVE! WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL this morning, and addressed the recent issues that caused her to skip the last few episodes.
“Our long national nightmare is over,” she quipped at the opening of the show, her first appearance since last Wednesday when she was blindsided by the news that co-host Michael Strahan would be leaving for GOOD MORNING AMERICA.
“I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts,” Ripa explained. “After 26 years with this company, I earned the right. I always speak from the heart. I didn’t want to come out here and say something I might regret.
“What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary,” she continued. “In the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
Ripa described LIVE! as not just a job, but a family that she has devoted her life to. She also supported Strahan’s move to GMA. “I am thrilled for you,” she told her co-host. “This is a tremendous opportunity, and I couldn’t be and we couldn’t be prouder of you and everything we accomplished together.”
Now that Ripa has returned to work, the only question that remains is who will replace Strahan as her new co-host? An announcement is expected in the fall, so stay tuned!
For more on your favorite stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.