Kelly Ripa Defends Her Live Walkout: 'I Didn't Just Not Show Up'

Kelly Ripa Michael Strahan Interview

Kelly Ripa would like to clear a few things up.

Let’s start with her (sudden) week-long absence from Live, just one day after co-host Michael Strahan announced to the world — and to Ripa, mere moments earlier — that he’s leaving the show for a new gig at Good Morning America. Speaking to her critics, via People, Ripa stands by her decision to step back and clear her head.

“I think what people need to understand about the entire situation is that I didn’t just not show up,” Ripa tells the magazine. “I said, in the room, ‘I am going to take the day off.’ I needed to actually sit and gather information. I needed to make sure I said the appropriate things on TV and didn’t just come out and say whatever. … In that moment there were [staff members] looking at me, saying, ‘Tell us this is going to be OK. Are we going to be OK?'”

As for Strahan’s replacement, Ripa acknowledges that finding someone with whom she has “chemistry and camaraderie and trust” will be no easy feat: “It doesn’t fall out of the sky. It takes a lot of work, and it takes a group discussion.”

Still, Ripa bears no ill will towards her departing co-host, saying, “People make mistakes, and we’re all human. … We all have these moments, and it’s about how you move forward and how you begin again.”

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