Michael Strahan talks Kelly Ripa drama: 'I was painted as the bad guy'

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Michael Strahan is finally ready to rehash the drama that occurred in his last few weeks on “Live.”

The former NFL defensive end shifted some of the blame for his dramatic departure to former co-host Kelly Ripa during a chat with People magazine.

Ripa quickly went on vacation once news broke that Strahan was leaving the show after four years. Upon her return, she lectured the audience about respect in the workplace, emphasizing that she was not in-the-know about her co-host’s planned departure. Strahan left the show in May.

"The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself," Strahan told People magazine. "I don't want people to see me as 'Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.' That's just not true."

He said his relationship with his ex co-host faded fast.

"At one point I think we were friends. I don't know what happened at the end. I learned a lot from her, though,” he said.

Strahan said the pair’s communication broke down.

"Toward the end of it all, we didn't really communicate that much," Strahan told the mag. "I kinda looked at it like, 'It was what it was.' I come from a business where you have to collaborate. The show was going well? We're all winning. That's all that matters to me."

Strahan said he wasn’t shocked by Ripa’s harsh reaction to his decision to leave the show.

"I wasn't surprised by her reaction at all, but I can't control somebody else's actions. I was there four years, and it's about more than just being in front of the camera."

The star said he remained in control during the difficult time.

"On air, all I could do was control myself. In football, New York is the toughest place to play. One day you're the greatest player they've ever seen, then the next game you're the worst,” he said. "I said, 'Hey, it doesn't matter what their opinion is. All I know is I'm doing my best, and I'm giving it everything… I've been in stadiums with 80,000 people calling me all different kinds of things."