Michael Strahan says his split from Kelly Ripa and ‘Live’ turned him into the “bad guy”

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend the 2012 GQ Gentlemen's Ball presented by LG, Movado, and Nautica on October 24, 2012 in New York City.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GQ

It looks like the divorce between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt isn’t the only celebrity separation circulating the headlines this week. After a controversial split between former Live co=hosts Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa, the retired NFL star is finally breaking his silence about his relationship with her and what the last few days were like between them before news broke about his new Good Morning America position.

In April, fans weren’t the only ones shocked when the 44-year-old former Rutherford resident publicly announced he’d be leaving Live for GMA. The mother of three felt blindsided and ultimately decided to call out of work the next day. Throughout the ordeal, Michael believed Kelly and the media were shining a negative light on him, which he felt was unwarranted.

“The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself,” Michael told People in this week’s cover story. “I don’t want people to see me as ‘Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.’ That’s just not true.”

As far as the current status of their friendship, the father of four doesn’t quite know where they stand. He holds no hard feelings, wishing the 45-year-old former All My Children star nothing but the best. Kelly shared similar sentiments for Michael in May after being asked how she really felt about the talk show’s big change, congratulating him on his new role.

Although, while co-hosting with Joel McHale and discussing her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Kelly made a small subliminal joke about getting used to being walked all over. She laughed it off, but many were unsure if that was directed at Michael, the network or both.

To hear more about Michael’s side of the story, his family life and more, pick up the latest issue of People.