AceShowbiz - Kelly Ripa opened up about the sexism she faced in the early years of working on "Live". In an interview with Variety, the TV host revealed "Live" executives banished her to a janitor's closet instead of giving her an office during her early years on the morning show.
Kelly shared that she might not have taken the gig in the first place had she "known how difficult" her first three seasons would have been. "It was the strangest experience I've ever had in my life. I was told that I couldn't have an office," the 52-year-old said.
"It didn't make a whole lot of sense, especially because there were empty offices that I could have easily occupied," Kelly, who additionally said that she was not given maternity leave, vacation time or a wardrobe budget when she joined "Live" back in 2001, shared.
The wife of Mark Consuelos revealed that she was asked about being moved to a janitor's closet because the executives told her that the offices were reserved for executives visiting from the West Coast. "It was after my fourth year that they finally cleaned out the closet and put a desk in there for me," she added. "And so I was working in the janitor's closet with a desk so that I could have a place to put things."
When original host Regis Philbin left the show in 2011, Kelly thought that she would finally get an actual office. However, she was wrong because the available office would be given to her new male counterpart Michael Strahan.
"They said, 'Oh, no, we're saving that.' And I said, 'Saving it for what?' And they go, 'Well, for when the new guy comes,' " she recalled. "And I looked at them, and I said, 'I am the new guy.' I just moved my things. 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."
Not stopping there, Kelly also claimed she was not given her own bathroom. "We have a studio audience - like 250 people! - and I have to queue up. Particularly when I was pregnant, it was extraordinarily exhausting to have to wait in line. I have to host the show, and I'm still waiting in line to use the bathroom. It just seemed, you know, a very needlessly difficult situation," she said.
ABC has yet to comment on Kelly's claims.