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Kelly Ripa shared shocking information when she said she “couldn’t have an office” in the early days of her time on the ABC daytime talk show after joining “Live!” in 2001.
In a cover story for Variety, the 52-year-old actress said it took years on the show before she was able to finally get them to clean out a janitor’s closet where she could have a work space.
“It was the strangest experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Ripa said. “I was told that I couldn’t have an office.”
“It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially because there were empty offices that I could have easily occupied,” she added, as she explained that she was told those spaces were being reserved for executives coming in from the West Coast.
“It was after my fourth year,” Ripa continued. “That they finally cleaned out the [janitor’s] closet and put a desk in there for me. And so I was working in the janitor’s closet with a desk so that I could have a place to put things.”
— Variety (@Variety) March 28, 2023
Ripa said even after being made the main host of the show when Regis Philbin left in 2011, she still had to fight to earn an actual office.
“They said, ‘Oh, no, we’re saving that,'” the TV host said. “And I said, ‘Saving it for what?’ And they go, ‘Well, for when the new guy comes.’ And I looked at them, and I said, ‘I am the new guy.'”
“I just moved my things,” she added. “I forced my way into the office because I couldn’t understand how I would still be in the janitor’s closet and somebody new would come in and get the office.”
“Initially, I thought this is just what happens, and they don’t have to fill me in because I’ve only been here 10 years,” the TV host continued. “I’m still the new girl. But then, when I was the more senior on-air person, it was like watching the same movie all over again …”
After 22 years, as a host of the different iterations of “Live!” Kelly admitted that if she had “known before how difficult it would have been” at various times during her tenure on the show, she’s not sure she “would have gone for it.”