Kelly Ripa would rethink co-hosting “Live” with Regis Philbin if she knew about the ABC show’s behind-the-scenes drama.
“If I had known [about the show’s issues] going in, I wouldn’t have done it. And how sad for me,” she continued. “Luckily, ignorance is bliss.”
Ripa explained that she “didn’t know that there was so much fighting between” Philbin and the network when she started the job.
“I was hyper-sensitive to the feelings all around me that this was like new and unusual terrain I was wading into,” the “All My Children” alum explained.
The “Hope & Faith” alum, who “couldn’t put her finger” on the feelings at the time, added, “It was sort of explained to me [that there were] these two battling forces within the company that I didn’t even know existed.”
Ripa noted that Philbin, who died in July 2020 at age 88, didn’t “need” a co-host.
“I take his side,” she said. “He should not have had to have a host assigned to him. That’s not fair. He paid his dues and he established this show.
“I felt for him because he was so famous and was so well-established.”
The “Live With Kelly and Ryan” host “advocated for” Philbin in her memoir, which was released last month, but Ripa was still blasted by Kathie Lee Gifford for speaking about the late talk show host at all.
The “Today” show alum, who co-hosted “Live” with Philbin from 1985 to 2000, told Fox 5’s Rosanna Scotto earlier this month that she was “not gonna read” the book.
Gifford, 69, called Philbin a “friend” and the “best partner,” saying she was “very sorry to see” headlines about him following the release of Ripa’s book.
Ripa, however, thanked the “Today” show alum for her comments on Tuesday. She explained that the diss gave her memoir “attention.”
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