Kelly Ripa is speaking candidly about the sexism she’s faced at “Live!” over the years.

Ripa has spent 22 years hosting the beloved daytime show, joining in Feb. 2021 to host with Regis Philbin.

However, despite now reportedly earning a salary in the range of $20 million a year, it’s definitely not been easy to get to where she is, Ripa tells Variety.

She admits she didn’t even have a permanent office backstage for her first years on air, recalling: “It was the strangest experience I’ve ever had in my life.

“I was told that I couldn’t have an office. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially because there were empty offices that I could have easily occupied.”

Ripa, who fronts the first of five Power of Women issues of the mag, was finally given a permanent space — an empty janitor’s closest.

She remembers, “It was after my fourth year that they finally cleaned out the closet and put a desk in there for me. And so I was working in the janitor’s closet with a desk so that I could have a place to put things.”

Kelly Ripa poses for “Variety”.
Kelly Ripa poses for “Variety”. — Celeste Sloman for Variety

Even after Philbin left in Nov. 2011, bosses still didn’t want to give Ripa his space.

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She tells the mag, “They said, ‘Oh, no, we’re saving that.’ And I said, ‘Saving it for what?’ And they go, ‘Well, for when the new guy comes.’

“And I looked at them, and I said, ‘I am the new guy.’ I just moved my things. I forced my way into the office because I couldn’t understand how I would still be in the janitor’s closet and somebody new would come in and get the office.

“Initially, I thought this is just what happens, and they don’t have to fill me in because I’ve only been here 10 years. I’m still the new girl. But then, when I was the more senior on-air person, it was like watching the same movie all over again: All of those offices that were not available to me were suddenly made available, with walls knocked down to make them twice as big. It was fascinating for me to watch — the need to make the new guy comfortable and respected, but I couldn’t use those offices. I had to use the broom closet.”

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The “All My Children” actress admits things were so “tough” at times at “Live!” that if she’d “known how difficult it would have been,” she says, “I don’t know that I would have gone for it.”

Ripa says she was finally paid fairly once her contract was up and bosses realized she might quit, recalling: “I don’t think they wanted to pay me. I think they had to pay me.

“I was trying to walk out the door and close it behind me. And I think they really figured out rapidly that they had screwed up in a major way, and it was not a good look. I think that was really the impetus behind paying me fairly. They had no choice.”