Regis Philbin Comes To Kelly Ripa's Defense, Says She Was Wronged By ABC Executives

Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin is coming to Kelly Ripa’s defense over how the whole Michael Strahan leaving “Live! ” for “Good Morning America” went down.

TMZ’s reporters caught up with Regis while he was strolling down a sidewalk in New York City. He said it was wrong for Kelly to learn the way that she did that her co-host was leaving the show, but added that he doesn’t know all of the details. He was surprised at how Disney and ABC executives dealt with the situation surrounding Strahan’s departure and doesn’t blame Kelly for her unvarnished anger.

Philbin was asked if he ever sees Ripa since moving on from his co-hosting role on “Live!” in 2011. He said he “doesn’t see anybody” anymore, including Michael Gelman, the show’s producer.

Regis added that he believes Kelly Ripa will be alright and come through all of this turmoil just fine.

When asked if he’d be willing to go back even on a temporary basis to host “Live!” again with Kelly, Regis said no way. He’s through and wants to stay retired.

Kelly left early for a long-planned vacation after getting word – along with the rest of the world – that Michael was leaving “Live!” for “GMA.” She wasn’t given a heads-up about his status at the network.

Regis issued a statement to People magazine when asked about Strahan.

“Years ago I interviewed Michael Strahan on my show, and I asked him what he will do when he leaves the Giants,” Regis shared. “He said, ‘I want your job,’ and years later he got it. Now he’s moving on to ‘GMA.’ Next stop could be Washington.”

On Thursday, Michael praised Kelly for showing him the ropes and being his co-host for the past four years on “Live!.”

“Kelly, I thank you,” Strahan said. “I love you and everyone else here at Live!, and I’m not going to cry on TV, momma, I promise you.”

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