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Michael Strahan is stay-at-home wives/mothers and morning people’s favorite new obsession as the co-host of “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” much to many people’s surprise. The former NFL player was known as a sports commentator but few expected him to land a spot on ABC’s favorite morning show for a number of reasons, not the least of which are his skin color and nasty rumors that have followed the athlete over the years.

In a revealing interview for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Michael talked about what he thinks sealed the deal for landing his new gig.

“I’m big and she’s small…” he said. “I’m a black man and here’s this cute white lady, hmmm. I’m an athlete but I’m not known to pop culture. I think all of those things made them think, hmmm this is something different.”

Different is right considering Michael’s nasty divorce from his ex-wife Jean Muggli and the damage she tried to do to his rep. According to News One:

When Strahan and Muggli parted ways back in 2006 after seven years of marriage, their separation became fodder for the press.  Rumors that were put out by Muggli raised suspicions about the former NFL player.  The ex-Mrs. Strahan accused her then husband of assault, videotaping her sister, neglecting their twin daughters, adultery and even alluded to him being gay.

The 6’5″ father of four confronted Muggli, who was his second wife, when he found out she withdrew $3.3 million from their bank accounts. It was then that he decided to divorce her.

In 2007, Strahan and Muggli stood before a judge and she tried to prove that her husband had physically abused her. Despite those claims being dismissed, the judge awarded the embittered ex a whopping $15 million settlement and $18,000 in child support every month.

Though in our social media age those incidents would have likely spelled death for any other public figure’s reputation, the case has been quite the opposite for Michael.

“I think early on when you’re reading all these things in the paper that aren’t true,” he trailed off to Brant. “I’m not an adulterer. I’m not gay. I mean, I didn’t beat anybody.”

When Bryant said it’s surprising Michael’s public image didn’t take a huge hit, he replied.

“People don’t care. Everybody has their own problems … I just kept going, being myself and it worked.”

Two ex-wives and a bitter divorce behind him, Michael is currently engaged to Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife Nicole, but recently rumors began swirling that they were yet another Hollywood couple that had bitten the dust. In true Strahan fashion he laughed off tales that he was inappropriately involved with R&B singer London simply because he appeared in her video “No Panties,” and Nicole tweeted: “Wow! Thats insane! Lol!” Looks like both of them know how to keep it moving.

Check out a snippet of Michael Strahan’s video here. Are you a fan of him on “LIVE”?

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