Michael Strahan Addresses Kelly Ripa Feud: 'At One Point I Think We Were Friends'

Michael Strahan is speaking out about the fallout from his abrupt decision to leave Live! with Kelly and Michael for Good Morning America, specifically how it ruined his relationship with co-host Kelly Ripa.

"I wasn't surprised by her reaction at all, but I can't control somebody else's actions," Strahan told People. "I was there four years, and it's about more than just being in front of the camera." He said, "At one point I think we were friends. I don't know what happened at the end. I learned a lot from her, though."

As Nicki Swift reported, Ripa was allegedly blindsided by Strahan's decision to leave Live! and informed of the news just as the press release was being sent out by Disney on April 19, 2016. Ripa subsequently went radio silent on the show for days as reports surfaced that Ripa and Strahan hated each other off camera. She returned to the show the following week after a pre-scheduled vacation and gave a now-famous speech about respect at the workplace. Shortly thereafter, Strahan's final date on Live! was moved up from September 2016 to May 13, 2016.

"Toward the end of it all, we didn't really communicate that much," Strahan said of his relationship with Ripa. "I kinda looked at it like, 'It was what it was.' I come from a business where you have to collaborate. The show was going well? We're all winning. That's all that matters to me," he told People.

Ripa was subsequently promoted to executive producer of Live! by Disney, a move widely seen as a make-good for all the drama that transpired. There were also reports that the staff of Live! had to work overtime during the summer to make up for Strahan's exit. Ripa has yet to find a replacement for Strahan, despite a string of rumored names, including Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper. She announced in early September that she was opening up the search for her next co-host to the viewers at home.

Strahan—who officially joined Good Morning America at the beginning of September 2016—insists he didn't hang the show out to dry. "The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself," he told People. "I don't want people to see me as 'Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.' That's just not true."