Why Kelly Ripa Has "PTSD" From Working on Live
Kelly Ripa is getting candid about her first reaction to Ryan Seacrest‘s departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan.
The longtime talk show host recently admitted that when her co-host told her he would be exiting Live after six seasons, she was initially quite anxious. In fact, Ryan and her husband—and soon to be co-host—Mark Consuelos had to reassure Kelly that everything would work out.
“Ryan and Mark were like, ‘What are you nervous about? It’s going to be fine,’” she told Variety in an interview published March 28. “And I said to them, ‘You have to forgive me. I have a little PTSD.’”
During her 22 years on the talk show, Kelly has endured a lot of change—and it hasn’t always been easy.
In 2012, she was joined by Michael Strahan, the show’s first permanent co-host since Regis Philbin‘s 2011 departure. However, when he abruptly left the series in 2016 to join ABC’s flagship morning show Good Morning America, Kelly was kept in the dark until just before a public announcement was made.
This move prompted her to take a four-day break from the show. When she returned to the series, she launched some zingers relating to her job and even contract negotiations.
“I can’t say it enough. I had a really difficult time. These transitions don’t have to be dramatic,” Kelly recalled. “I know what it’s like to feel like you’re not wanted somewhere. I came from an acting background, and I am an expert in rejection. But this was like weirdly being rejected while also being the person that they wanted for the show.”
But her difficulties at Live came long before Michael’s surprise exit, as Kelly—who replaced Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001—noted that during her first few years on the show, she wasn’t even given a private bathroom or a permanent office backstage.
“It was after my fourth year that they finally cleaned out the closet and put a desk in there for me,” she said. “And so I was working in the janitor’s closet with a desk so that I could have a place to put things.”
And it forced her to take matters into her own hands. “I just moved my things,” the All My Children alum explained. “I forced my way into the office because I couldn’t understand how I would still be in the janitor’s closet and somebody new would come in and get the office.”
E! News has reached out to ABC for comment and has not heard back.
Today, Kelly feels at home at Live, crediting the change with an increase in female executives at ABC.
“From my perspective, they’re putting more and more women in positions of power, and women just are, from my experience, more willing to hear and solve problems in real time” she added. “It really makes a difference when you have people that are behind you who come aboard. It’s powerful.”
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