Michael Strahan: I'm Not a Bad Guy!

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Michael Strahan would like to make a few things clear.

First, he never thought he would be here.

Michael Strahan People Cover

In the latest issue of People Magazine, the former New York Giants star says he never contemplated life as a game show host and television personality.

"I never knew I could accomplish so much," Strahan says in the latest cover story. "But my parents never act surprised. They look at me as if there's no limit.

"That helped me feel like there's no limit."

Strahan advanced from hosting DIY Network's Backyard Stadiums to co-hosting the Fox NFL Sunday… to co-hosting Live! With Kelly and Michael.

It was on this latter program, of course, where his stock truly rose.

After appearing for the first time on Good Morning America in 2016, Strahan made a huge career decision this past spring:

He decided to leave Live! for a full-time role on GMA,

The only problem? No one told Kelly Ripa about her co-host departing the series until the last second... which caused major tension between Strahan and Ripa.

Michael Strahan's Final Show

It was clear to anyone who watched Live!, but neither Kelly nor Michael have really addressed the downfall of their relationship.

Until now, that is.

I wasn't surprised by her reaction at all, but I can't control somebody else's actions," Strahan says of Ripa, who didn't show up for work the day after news of Strahan leaving broke.

"I was there four years, and it's about more than just being in front of the camera."

Do Strahan and Ripa really hate each other? Have they always hated each other?

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

Toward the end of his run on Live!, Strahan admits that he and Ripa "didn't really communicate" as much as they once had, expounding as follows:

"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."

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Live

The awkward tension between co-hosts made the final couple weeks of must-watch television.

Remember when Ripa brought up Strahan's divorce? Clearly without running it by her colleague first?

Yeah. Ouch.

"The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself," Strahan tells People.

"I don't want people to see me as 'Oh, he just ran out, just left them there.' That's just not true."

For plenty more from Michael Strahan, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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