DO NOT USE Kelly Ripa Returns to Live! After Tense Weeklong Absence Following Michael Strahan's Departure Announcement
Ripa returned to the talk show for the first time since her co-host Strahan announced he was leaving
brightcove.createExperiences(); Kelly Ripa is back!
The star returned to Live! With Kelly and Michael Tuesday, taking a seat at the co-hosting desk with Michael Strahan for the first time since he announced he was leaving the morning talk show last week.
An insider told PEOPLE last week that Ripa only found out about her co-host’s departure as the news was breaking Tuesday: “She was told at the same time as the rest of the world was learning via press release, and she was told in a room full of suits, and Strahan just sat there, mostly mute.”
“She is showing them as much respect as they showed her,” a source told PEOPLE at the time of Ripa’s noticeable absence from the show. “She knows that by not showing up she is showing the world that she is hurt and upset, and she is fine with that – she doesn’t care if people know that.”
“The very public way she’s handling this. You can’t not show up for work. If you’re going to have a meltdown you don’t do it publicly,” the source said.
Over the weekend, PEOPLE exclusively confirmed that Ripa would be back on Live! Tuesday and that the star had emailed her staff Friday evening about her planned return.
“I wanted to thank you all for giving me the time to process this new information. Your kindness, support and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning,” she wrote.
On Monday, a source told PEOPLE the time off helped Ripa regroup.
“Having a few days away from things was very helpful for Kelly,” said the source. “She is glad she had the time with [her husband] Mark [Consuelos] to celebrate their anniversary and to think about things with the show.”
Another insider previously told PEOPLE Strahan was excited to have Ripa back on the show.
“He never wanted any of this to happen,” the source said. “He got why she was mad but it was out of his control. He spent the last few days reaching out because he wanted her to come back.”
“He was prepared to go on by himself if he had to, but he is relieved that it all worked out,” added the source.
Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).