“Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.”

By Isabel Jones
Jan 29, 2020 @ 10:00 am

After nearly 4 years as the co-host of ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, former NFL star Michael Strahan made a hasty exit, switching over to Good Morning America.

Rumors concerning the nature of his departure focused on Strahan’s relationship with co-host Kelly Ripa. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Strahan set the record straight, admitting that he was “asked” to leave the show — “It was really not a choice. It was a request.” As for his rumored issues with Ripa, Strahan said, “certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.”

Mark Davis/Getty Images

The GMA presenter alluded to the problems, however, telling NYT, “I’ve had jobs where I got there and felt like: Wow, I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick. I thought I was coming here to be a partner.” When asked whether it was Live he’d referenced, Strahan said (with a laugh), “It was an experience!”

Strahan explained that he tried to iron things out with Ripa by organizing meetings with his co-host every few weeks. “We met a few times, and that was fine,” he began. “But then eventually she said she didn’t need to meet. Can’t force somebody to do something they don’t want to do.”

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Rocky history notwithstanding, Strahan said he “learned so much” from Ripa. “If people think, Oh, he hates her — I don’t hate her. I do respect her for what she can do at her job. I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job.”