Kelly Ripa Had 'Total Meltdown' Over Michael Strahan's Sudden Exit
Turmoil continues to swirl for ABC following Michael Strahan's sudden departure from Live With Kelly and Michael!, with co-host Kelly Ripa taking at least one week off in the wake of his announcement.
"Kelly sees this as the ultimate betrayal," an insider told Page Six.
"There's been a total Ripa meltdown," another source shared.
Ripa's absence from Live With Kelly and Michael! on Wednesday morning was the beginning of her showdown with her co-host, who blindsided her with his abrupt departure for Good Morning America.
Yesterday, the network confirmed that she "won't be back until next Tuesday at the earliest," according to Debra Birnbaum at Variety.
"She didn't show up for work and isn't taking anyone's calls," a source said, adding that she, along with the show's executive producer, Michael Gelman, weren't told until shortly before the news was made public.
"Kelly didn't want to show up to work and mouth off and say something she would have regretted," another source told the publication. "She is upset and didn't want to take it out on her own staff."
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While some of Ripa's days off were planned ahead of the shocking announcement, it's clear that the show host has taken more time off as a direct response to Michael's so-called betrayal.
Some sources call Ripa's reaction a simple case of "diva behavior," but others defended the star, saying: "You work on a show for 15 years and all of a sudden you're not even told about this seismic change?"
Meanwhile, those close to Ripa say the host's longtime friend, Anderson Cooper, is the likely frontrunner for Strahan's replacement.