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Regis Philbin Defends Kelly Ripa Over ‘GMA’ Betrayal: ‘They Should Have Told Her’

LAKE BEUNA VISTA, FL - DECEMBER 3: In this handout image provided by Walt Disney World, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, hosts of the talk show "Live with Regis and Kelly," pose in front of the Cinderella Castle during the taping of the "ABC-TV Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade" December 3, 2005 in the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World via Getty Images)

I reported earlier this week that Michael Strahan will be leaving Live! Kelly and Michael, for full-time gig at Good Morning America. So as everyone may know, co-host Kelly Ripa never knew about the change until that day. Angry Kelly did not show up to film the next day. Her former co-host, Regis Philbin defends her honor.

[Radar OnlineRegis Philbin has come to Kelly Ripa‘s rescue following drama surrounding Live! With Kelly and Michael co-host Michael Strahan‘s sudden departure.

Though some reports claim the TV veteran pulled the same stunt on Ripa just five years prior, Philbin slammed ABC network for keeping the his former coworker in the dark.

“[Michael] Gelman, you know. . .I don’t want to know. I know what it is. They should have told her in the beginning,” he shared with photographers Thursday afternoon.

As Radar previously reported, Strahan announced his exit from ABC’s Live! With Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, sharing that he’ll be joining Good Morning America full time.

The news didn’t seem to go over very well on set, however, as Ripa was noticeably absent from Wednesday’s segment,  beginning her scheduled vacation early.

As for Kelly’s abrupt absence from the show this week, 84-year-old Philbin seems to believe the drama will die down by the time she returns next Tuesday.

“They’re going to be alright. It’ll be fine,” he said.

Despite seemingly taking Ripa’s side, Philbin did manage to reserve some kind words for Strahan.

“He is great!” he said. “He was great with the Giants. He is great on our show. He is doing a lot of stuff. He really is.”

“He is a real pro and they are going to use him down there [at GMA] because they’re in second place right now,” he added.

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