The Truth About Michael Strahan & Kelly Ripa's Difficult Relationship

Think of all the jobs you've had in your life — did you get along with all your co-workers? Chances are, you didn't, and that's okay. Actually, it's normal. According to a 2008 study published under the title "Workplace Conflict and How Businesses Can Harness It to Thrive," a whopping 85 percent of employees deal with some form of workplace conflict, and 49 percent of workplace conflict is directly related to personality differences and what researchers call "warring egos."

It should be no surprise, then, to learn that the drama surrounding Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa's relationship, and Strahan's subsequent departure from Live with Kelly and Michael, was likely sensationalized because it played out on our TV screens.

In reality, however, it was simply not the right fit for the former NFL star. In an exclusive interview with The New York Times, Strahan candidly revealed, "When it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up." Does that mean there wasn't conflict between the co-hosts? Strahan doesn't deny that there was tension there, but he does allude to the fact that the job may not have been what he thought it was going to be when he signed on. Strahan revealed, "I've had jobs where I got there and felt like: Wow, I didn't know I was supposed to be a sidekick." When pressed about if he was talking about his time on Live, the current GMA host laughingly replied, "It was an experience!"

Michael Strahan respects Kelly Ripa and thinks she is great at her job

When Michael Strahan's actual departure was announced back in 2016, Kelly Ripa abruptly took a day off, and rumors started swirling about the former Giant blindsiding his co-host with his hasty decision to leave. In reality, though, it was the mishandling of the situation by network executives that caused the bulk of the drama. In the weeks that followed, ABC CEO Ben Sherwood admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that the network "made some mistakes" when dealing with Strahan's exit from the show, but the damage had already been done. As Strahan described to People, "The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself. I don't want people to see me as 'Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.' That's just not true."

Regardless of their personal relationship, Michael Strahan is open and honest about his professional feelings for his former co-worker some four years later, admitting in his New York Times interview, "I learned so much from Kelly." He went on to reveal, "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."