Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa, photographed at the premiere of “All We Had” during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival in New York April 15, reportedly can’t afford to lose her “Live” paycheck. Getty Images

Kelly Ripa has a serious decision to make: She can either stay with “Live With Kelly and Michael” after co-host Michael Strahan’s shocking exit or choose to walk away. However, some reports have claimed that this choice may be more black and white than it looks at first glance.

Ripa, 45, is being paid a pretty penny to appear on the syndicated talk show, TMZ reported. She is believed to make a little less than $15 million a year, and her lifestyle reflects that. Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos reportedly ramped up their spending after she landed the gig in 2001 — buying expensive homes in the Hamptons on Long Island and in New York City. With major bills to pay, Ripa reportedly can’t afford to leave the show for good.

“She makes a lot of money, but she spends a lot of money, and so does he,” a source said.

Ripa, who has made up one-half of the talk show’s co-hosting duo for the past 15 years, has taken a temporary leave from her duties on “Live.” According to Debra Birnbaum, Variety’s executive editor for television, ABC, one of the networks that airs the show, has confirmed Ripa will not return “until next Tuesday.” That date is reportedly not set in stone, but is the earliest she plans to be back in the wake of Strahan’s announcement about his exit. “Dancing With the Stars” host Erin Andrews agreed to step in temporarily, appearing on the show Thursday and Friday.

“Live” has been produced without Ripa since Wednesday. At the time, People magazine reported she was “refusing” to participate in the production of the show. Ripa was said to have no plans to return to the show any time soon while she coped with having been “completely blindsided” by Strahan’s exit. Producers of the talk show were in the dark as to when she would resume her co-hosting duties.

Strahan made his departure official during Wednesday’s episode. He told people in the “Live” audience and viewers that he was thankful for their support over the past few years, but that he would be moving on. Strahan accepted a job as a “Good Morning America” host, but plans to return to “Live” occasionally after his exit in the fall. It remains unclear who will be replacing him on the talk show, but there are already countless theories about his successor.