Kelly Ripa is certainly well aware of the scandal surrounding her "Live" co-host Ryan Seacrest, and she seemed to take an apparent dig at him on Wednesday's show on Feb. 28.
While noticing that Ryan didn't have his shoes on properly during the taping, Kelly looked down and asked, "What is going on? Something pretty major is happening … Do you want me to put your shoes back on for you?… I'm a mom, I can do that."
Ryan plainly said, "You don't mind, do you?"
He did, however, put his own shoes on after stomping them into place.
This would normally be fun banter between on-air buddies, but many felt Kelly's comments were a shielded jab at Ryan.
The "American Idol" host has been accused of sexual misconduct by his stylist Suzie Hardy, who alleged that he pushed her head towards his crotch when she was tying his shoes once. She also claimed other moments of sexual misconduct on Ryan's part.
An NBC source said, "It's astonishing and jarring that Kelly would make a dig like that at Ryan. It shows there are some serious cracks in their relationship."
The alleged jab comes just before the Academy Awards. Ryan has been a longtime fixture on the Oscars red carpet as part of his job with E! News. However, a report by the New York's Post's Page Six said that many publicists will keep Ryan away from their star clients in light of the scandal.
"At the moment E! is still saying Seacrest is hosting on the red carpet at the Oscars. But many execs at NBC Universal [which owns E!] can't see how that can happen, especially after Page Six's piece today about the publicists planning to steer their talent away from Seacrest on the red carpet," the NBC source said. "There will be meetings about it today, and a decision could be made by the end of the day about what to do at the Oscars. It doesn't look good for Seacrest, even though he denies it and was cleared by an internal investigation."
Ryan has vehemently denied the allegations.
"This person who has accused me of horrible things has offered on multiple occasions to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused," he said in a statement. "I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don't take my opportunities for granted. I don't want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth, but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest."