Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Call 'Live' Her 'Fancy Job' Because It's When She Started Out-Earning Him

Kelly Ripa says Mark Consuelos earned more money than her throughout their time costarring on All My Children

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos attend the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Kelly Ripa is footloose and earning a "fancy" fee now.

The Live co-host has opened up about earning less than Mark Consuelos when they were costars on All My Children.

"He was paid far more than I was paid. Always," Ripa, 52, said of Consuelos, 51, in her cover story interview for Variety's The Power of Woman Issue. "And he started years after I started. It wasn't until I got what we call my 'fancy job' that I started actually earning more money than him."

The TV personality continued, "We have been together so long that it's always been collective money. We are very much old-fashioned in that sense."

And though Ripa upped her earnings with the Live gig, the pay disparity continued on that show as well. For her part, Ripa said she doesn't "blame the fellas" she hosted with — including late former co-host Regis Philbin; instead, she believes that "the network had a duty and an obligation to keep all things equal."

"[My male co-hosts] were just doing what they had been told, or what they were instructed to do, or what they thought they deserved," she said. "Having said that, I go out of my way to protect the people I'm working with at any and all costs, even if it means that I am not as popular."

ALL MY CHILDREN - 11/20/96Hayley (Kelly Ripa) spoke to the injured Mateo (Mark Consuelos) after he woke up, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1996, on Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Daytime's "All My Children". "All My Children" airs Monday-Friday, 1-2 p.m., ET, on the Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Television Network. AMC96(Photo by Ann Limongello/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)MARK CONSUELOS, KELLY RIPA; NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos attend the Haute Living Celebrates Kelly Ripa And The Release Of "Live Wire" With Parfums de Marly And Telmont Champagne At Scarpetta at Scarpetta on September 27, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Haute Living)
Ann Limongello/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Eugene Gologursky/Getty for Haute Living

Ripa says she finally started earning a salary she deemed fair when her bosses at ABC realized her contract was up and that she could leave the show.

"I don't think they wanted to pay me," she said. "I think they had to pay me."

She continued, "I was trying to walk out the door and close it behind me. And I think they really figured out rapidly that they had screwed up in a major way, and it was not a good look. I think that was really the impetus behind paying me fairly. They had no choice."

Ripa and Consuelous met on the All My Children set when she played Hayley Vaughan and he portrayed Mateo Santos. Their working relationship quickly turned romantic, and they got married in 1996.

They're now parents to three kids: Michael, 25, Lola, 21, and Joaquin, 20.

As for their professional lives, Consuelos is joining Ripa on Live as Ryan Seacrest's replacement, beginning April 17. "This is going to be amazing!" the Riverdale actor wrote on Instagram, reacting to the news. "I can't believe after all these years of listening to you talk for free, I found a way to get paid for it. Is this a great country or what? ❤️"

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).

Related Articles