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Kelly Ripa Admits Co-Host Shake-Ups On 'Live!' Were 'Very Tough' To Deal With: 'I Did Not Have An Easy Time'

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Mar. 28 2023, Published 8:15 p.m. ET

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Kelly Ripa got candid about what it was like to have Regis Philbin and Michael Strahan walk out of her as her Live! co-hosts.

Though the star, 52, didn't directly call anyone out while chatting with Variety, she let it be known how she felt in those moments.

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“It was very tough,” Ripa recalled. “Had I known how difficult it would have been, I don’t know that I would have gone for it. I just think my ignorance in that situation wound up being my blessing and my superpower. I did not have an easy time.”

The blonde beauty, who is married to Mark Consuelos, was kept in the dark twice by her bosses — first when Philbin announced on-air he would be retiring from the show without any warning, and in the second case, Strahan was brought on to the morning show without Ripa's knowledge.

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This is hardly the first time the TV personality wasn't treated well by producers. In the early years of the show, Ripa didn't have a private bathroom while Philbin did. “Picture this. We have a studio audience — like 250 people! — and I have to queue up. Particularly when I was pregnant, it was extraordinarily exhausting to have to wait in line. I have to host the show, and I’m still waiting in line to use the bathroom. It just seemed, you know, a very needlessly difficult situation," she dished.

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Despite the ups and downs, the book author, who will co-host the show with her hubby after Ryan Seacrest's departure, is looking forward to the future — and the hard lessons she learned along the way.

"I can’t say it enough. I had a really difficult time. These transitions don’t have to be dramatic,” she said. “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.”

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“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,” Ripa added. “It really makes a difference when you have people that are behind you who come aboard. It’s powerful.”

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