Though Kelly Ripa publicly supported “Live With Kelly and Ryan” co-host Ryan Seacrest this week amid sexual harassment allegations against him, sources close to the duo insist that their friendly rapport could just be for show.
A new Page Six report alleges that, though Ripa considers Ryan to be “one of her closest friends,” her main priority is keeping her show alive.
“Kelly doesn’t want to risk anything happening to ‘Live,’” a source told the outlet. “She is understandably livid because it could potentially f--k up her show.”
Seacrest was accused of sexual harassment by former E! Stylist Suzie Hardy, who came forward with allegations that Seacrest had groped her and made repeated unwanted advances toward her during their years of working together.
The “American Idol” host has repeatedly denied the accusations, calling a recent Variety report a “salacious story” and reminded fans that E! Had performed a thorough internal investigation that found no evidence of wrongdoing on Seacrest’s part.
See photos of Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest together:
“They oversell their friendship,” another source added of Ripa and Seacrest. “Her reputation is rolled up in this -- this is her show. For Kelly, there’s not a Plan B. She has to make a decision and rally around him.”
Another source contends that Ripa does indeed value their relationship on a deeper level.
“He’s one of her closest friends, and they’re very protective of each other,” the third source told Page Six. “They’ve known each other for years and talk about everything … it’s been a tough week.”
The report comes after a scandalous week for Seacrest, during which Ripa appeared to throw a dig at her co-host one day before actively defending him on “Live.”
“Sweetie, do you want me to put your shoes back on for you?” Ripa asked Seacrest on Wednesday, seemingly alluding to Hardy’s claim that Seacrest would shove her face into his crotch when she was tying his shoes.
See photos of Kelly Ripa through the years:
One day later, though, Ripa appeared to stand firmly behind her co-host during his scandal.
“I just want you to know you are a privilege to work with, and I adore you, and I am speaking on behalf of all of us here,” she said. “I know what an easy, professional, great person you are and I feel very, very lucky to work with you each and every day.”
Seacrest is still slated to host E!’s “Live From the Red Carpet” coverage during Sunday night’s 2018 Academy Awards.
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- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Kelly Ripa secretly 'livid' about Ryan Seacrest scandal: 'This is her show'