Kelly Ripa steps out wearing 'Freedom' jacket ahead of Michael Strahan's last day, jokes with co-host about 'Live!' drama

Kelly Ripa Wears 'Freedom' Jacket  to Michael Strahan's Next-to-Last Day at 'Live!'
Kelly Ripa Wears 'Freedom' Jacket to Michael Strahan's Next-to-Last Day at 'Live!'

Kelly Ripa made quite the style statement ahead of Michael Strahan's last day on Live! With Kelly and Michael.

On Thursday morning, the 45-year-old TV personality stepped out of her New York City apartment wearing a jacket with the word "Freedom" printed on the back.

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Ripa's "Freedom" jacket comes after she was spotted carrying two telling books. Just days after Strahan's exit announcement, she stepped out with Malcolm Gladwell's book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. That next week, she sparked speculation that Anderson Cooper might be a frontrunner to replace Strahan when she carried the CNN reporter's new book, which he co-wrote with his mother Gloria Vanderbilt, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss.

PHOTOS: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan together



WATCH: Kelly Ripa on Michael Strahan's Live! Exit -- 'I Need Assurances That We're All Going to Be Fine'

During Strahan's second to last episode, the co-hosts walked onto set together to Sia's song, "Alive." Ripa pointed out that there were several audience members wearing cap and gowns. When one student shared that she was graduating with a major in Journalism and Media Studies, Ripa quipped, "Perfect, just in the nick of time."

Strahan, 44, added, "Don't let this show scare you away from your dreams."

MORE: Kelly Ripa Jokes With Michael Strahan About Moving Live! to L.A.

"Don't be afraid. It's fine," Ripa joked. "You can still go into journalism and do this. I promise."

Strahan will say goodbye to Live!on Friday, May 13, after four years as Ripa's co-host, and has accepted a full-time position at Good Morning America. Last week, a source close to the daytime talk show told ET thatLive! producers are "still debating" how to handle Strahan's official sendoff. "If it seems too celebratory, it'll seem disingenuous due to all the known drama," the source said, adding that the co-hosts have been "playing nicely together, but all parties felt it best to not drag it out all summer."

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Don't Address Michael's Early Departure from 'Live!'
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Don't Address Michael's Early Departure from 'Live!'