Michael Strahan Gets Candid about His Abrupt Exit from 'Live' to Join GMA

Michael Strahan opened up about the reason he left "Live with Kelly" and moved to "Good Morning America" and why his departure "could have been handled better."

It’s been almost three years since Michael Strahan left “Live with Kelly” and jumped ship to “Good Morning America.”  And while the controversy surrounding his abrupt exit has simmered, Michael recently opened up to the New York Times about the loose ends and shed light on why he decided to make the switch.

"I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick... thought I was coming here to be a partner.”

Michael Strahan attending the "Wilder vs. Fury" premiere at the Staples Center. | Photo: Getty Images

Michael Strahan attending the "Wilder vs. Fury" premiere at the Staples Center. | Photo: Getty Images

THE FALLOUT OF MICHAEL'S DEPARTURE

Michael’s departure from “Live with Kelly” especially affected his relationship with his former co-host, Kelly Ripa, who stopped speaking to him after. He recalls sitting down with Kelly a few times but she eventually stopped meeting with him.

To the eyes of the world, Michael abruptly left their show and he was painted as the bad guy. But now Michael reveals it’s not what it seemed and his departure “could have been handled better.”

Kelly Ripa attends the 13th Annual CNN Heroes at the American Museum of Natural History | Photo: Getty Images

Kelly Ripa attends the 13th Annual CNN Heroes at the American Museum of Natural History | Photo: Getty Images

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO MICHAEL

 Michael explained that the offer to work for GMA came in the form of a request from the network and wasn’t of his own initiative.

“It was really not a choice. It was a request. But it was treated as if I was the guy who walked in and said, 'I’m leaving.' That part was totally misconstrued, mishandled in every way." 

Michael also said that the people responsible for how his departure played had apologized to him. But the damage had been done. 

ON WORKING WITH KELLY

And while he never made the first move to leave “Live,” Michael hinted at his dissatisfaction. “I’ve had jobs where I got there and felt like: ‘Wow,I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick,'” he said. “I thought I was coming here to be a partner.”

Michael didn’t directly name the show or Kelly as the partner he was referring to, but when asked if it was her, he simply replied, “It was an experience!”

WHERE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH KELLY STANDS

There were rumors of issues between Michael and Kelly shortly before he left the show. He admitted to People that they weren’t communicating that much towards the end. A source close to Kelly also told Page Six that they would only communicate through their representatives.

But in spite of the drama that came between them, Michael still views Kelly as a competent host harbors no ill feelings towards her.

"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."

Michael hosted with Kelly for four years before he departed. He has since moved to “Good Morning America” and its spinoff, “Strahan, Sara, and Keke.” Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest filled Michael's seat as Kelly's co-host in "Live with Kelly and Ryan."

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