Kelly Ripa is speaking her healing truth.
The talk show host is revealing the reality of her complicated relationship with former co-host Regis Philbin in her new "Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories." Though Ripa admitted to People that this was "the hardest chapter to write," she noted that there were "good and bad days."
The Emmy award-winning host shared how she really felt about her early days on "Live! With Regis and Kelly," recalling, "I don't want to feel like I'm slamming anyone or that I'm being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk."
When the daytime star first got the call from her agent saying she got the job, she said she was given a very clear warning: "They want you to know who your boss is."
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Speaking of that moment, she added, "It was very ominous, and it did not feel good."
"It took years to earn my place there," she continued, "and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer."
In 2001, Ripa replaced Philbin's previous co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, a transition Ripa confessed was no walk in the park. "The biggest misconception is that it all came easily," Ripa said. "People think I just showed up one day and was handed a job and I lived happily ever after and now everything's perfect. But it never is that way."
But she assured it wasn't all bad, as she went on to share the off-camera bond she later developed with Regis, who died in 2020. "The handful of times we spent together, I so enjoyed," she reflected. "We went to the same resort once on vacation and he came to a dinner I hosted -- one of the favorite nights of my life. I never laughed so hard."
Ripa's book "Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories" is now available for purchase.