An early career pay gap. Kelly Ripa claimed that her husband, Mark Consuelos, made more money when they worked together on All My Children — despite the fact that he joined the soap opera years after she did.
“He was paid far more than I was paid. Always. And he started years after I started,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan cohost, 52, alleged in an interview with Variety published on Tuesday, March 28. “It wasn’t until I got what we call my ‘fancy job’ that I started actually earning more money than him.”
The New Jersey native went on to say that she and the Riverdale alum, 51, have always shared their earnings, but the experience was still eye-opening for her. “We have been together so long that it’s always been collective money,” Ripa explained. “We are very much old-fashioned in that sense.”
Ripa starred on the long-running soap opera from 1990 to 2002 before returning for a cameo role in 2010. Consuelos, for his part, joined the drama in 1995 and left in 2002. The Katy Keene alum also returned in 2010 alongside his wife.
The Live Wire author claimed that her experience on All My Children was one of several times she’s dealt with the wage gap over the course of her career.
“I was used to that pay inequity because that was my life for 15 years — 11 years on All My Children, and then during the Regis [Philbin] years [on Live], certainly,” Ripa told the outlet. “I would expect a man who was at the helm of the show for many years before me to earn a substantial amount more than me. However, there has been this weaponization of my salary, as though I somehow should not ask for the money that the men routinely earn. And I’ve earned it the hard way.”
The Hope & Faith veteran went on to claim that it took years for her to earn the salary she considered fair for her work. “I don’t think they wanted to pay me. I think they had to pay me,” she said, explaining that she got a salary bump when her contract was almost up. “I think that was really the impetus behind paying me fairly. They had no choice.”
Ripa has previously said that she’s never forgotten the All My Children pay disparity, even as she’s risen through the ranks of TV stardom. “I watched my husband who had no acting experience when he got his job at All My Children, much the same way I had no acting experience,” she told Bustle in May 2021. “But I got my job in 1990 and I think he got his job in ’95. And he was paid more than me immediately. It was immediate. I just couldn’t believe how quickly they were willing to pay the man more than the woman.”