Television host, producer and one-time All My Children actress Kelly Ripa is a fairly open book. If you’re presenting Live and broadcasting to millions of people every morning, you kind of have to be. However, there are still some things she’s unlikely to discuss while the cameras are rolling. Here are 20 little-known secrets about her.
20. She didn’t see Regis Philbin after he retired
When Regis Philbin left Live in 2011, Ripa read him a goodbye speech and cried openly. But apparently after that, she didn’t keep in touch. “I haven’t seen her, I don’t see her,” Ripa’s co-star of 11 years told Hoda Kotb on the TODAY radio show in 2015.
19. She was one of Justin Bieber’s crushes
Many women would love to be an object of romantic interest for Justin Bieber. But not Ripa. When Bieber posted a bikini picture of her on Instagram in 2015, accompanied by the hashtag #bigcrush, the happily married Ripa was flattered but uninterested.
18. At school, her nickname was “Smelly Kelly”
When discussing the names of her children with Good Housekeeping in 2007, Ripa explained that her own nickname at school was “Smelly Kelly.” “And I’m still obsessive about my personal hygiene, because I’m like, ‘I don’t want to smell!’ Names can do things to you.”
17. She was in an animated film that bombed massively
The 2008 animated film Delgo had a pretty good cast. In addition to Ripa, it starred Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anne Bancroft in her last performance. But it was a critical and commercial disaster. Amazingly, it still holds the record for the lowest-grossing CGI animated film ever.
16. She got a “tramp stamp” on her wedding night
It’s common knowledge that Ripa eloped to Las Vegas to marry actor Mark Consuelos. Perhaps less well known is the fact that she got a “tramp stamp” tattoo on the same day she wed, too. She revealed this to Elle in 2013, but refused to say what the tattoo was of.
15. A psychic sensed that she was pregnant
Ripa had one hell of an audition for Live. Trying out for the job of co-host to Regis Philbin in 2000, she interviewed a psychic called Char Margolis. Incredibly, Margolis revealed to everyone something she couldn’t possibly have known: that Ripa was pregnant. It was an electrifying moment of live TV.
14. Her mother didn’t want her to become an actress
Ripa was the first member of her family to go into show business, and her mother was unsure about letting her do it. “She worried that I’d either get my heart broken or live under a bridge,” Ripa told Elle in 2013.
13. She once got into a strange celebrity feud
During a 2006 interview with Clay Aiken, the singer playfully put his hand over Ripa’s mouth. She objected, saying she didn’t know where it had been. Fair enough… but then Rosie O’Donnell accused Ripa, live on air, of homophobia. This also outed Aiken, who had yet to discuss his sexuality.
12. She dreamed about her marriage to Mark Consuelos
Speaking to Redbook in 2007, Ripa explained that she’d had a crush on Consuelos right from first meeting him. She’d also dreamed that they were married! Though she said she worried he would file a restraining order when she told him, they did, of course, end up wed.
11. She’s received body-shaming hate mail
When Ripa was on All My Children as Hayley, a role she held from 1990 to 2002, fans were disapproving when she gained weight. It was actually pregnancy weight, but the fans weren’t to know. One of them even sent her a letter saying, “Eat a carrot, you fat bastard.” Ouch.
10. She couldn’t speak the same language as her in-laws
When Ripa first married her husband, she couldn’t speak Italian. This led to a little difficulty whenever she was in the Consuelos household, especially since she could understand when her mother-in-law was criticizing her lack of housework skills (in English, natch).
9. She and Matt Borlenghi fought during All My Children
“One time, a reporter on set heard screaming and furniture crashing down the hall. A makeup guy said, ‘Oh, that’s just Kelly and Matt rehearsing.’ In reality, we were in her dressing room having an argument,” Matt Borlenghi told Variety in 2015. But, eventually, the pair became friends.
8. She attended President Trump’s wedding, but later parodied him
Many celebrities, unaware of what was to come, attended Donald Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania. Ripa was one of them, but she probably wouldn’t get to do it again, if the chance arose. Why? Because for Halloween 2016 she dressed up as him for a satirical TV skit.
7. She once dated Vincent Young
Ripa and her husband have a long-lasting and very healthy marriage. But in the year before they married, she actually dated Beverly Hills, 90210 actor Vincent Young. The pair attended a few events together, but the relationship lasted less than six months.
6. She put a lock on her daughter’s closet door
Ripa is a pretty strict parent, and sometimes she goes further than most moms and dads would. In fact, in 2010 she told Good Housekeeping that she once padlocked her daughter’s closet door to stop her changing clothes too many times before school. Yikes!
5. She accidentally sent a butt pic to her in-laws
Well, we’ve all been there! The first time Ripa attempted to send a semi-naked shot of her butt to her husband, she accidentally sent it to her in-laws. But instead of being horrified, they responded with compliments about how good her backside looked. Aww.
4. She and Consuelos fought a lot when they were first married
While her marriage to Mark Consuelos seems virtually perfect now, it wasn’t always that way. In 2010 Ripa told Good Housekeeping that initially, once the excitement of the elopement to Las Vegas had worn off, she and Consuelos often argued.
3. Terrence Howard once asked her out
Before either of them had reached the level of fame they currently enjoy, Ripa screen-tested Terrence Howard for a role on All My Children. “In the middle of the screen test, he asked me out on a date!” she told Jussie Smollett during a 2016 episode of Live with Kelly.
2. She has an “unrequited love affair” with Anderson Cooper
Despite her marriage still going strong, Ripa admits to a serious crush on one of her co-stars, Anderson Cooper. “I’m in love with him. I’ve had a 20-year unrequited love affair with him,” she said to Vanity Fair in 2014. Of course, Mark Consuelos has nothing to worry about: Cooper is gay and in a long-term relationship.
1. She and Michael Strahan are no longer friends
When Ripa’s Live co-host Michael Strahan unexpectedly quit in 2016, she was quietly furious. And as the scandal dragged on, it became clear that Ripa and Strahan’s relationship couldn’t be repaired. “At one point I think we were friends. I don’t know what happened at the end,” Strahan told People that year.