Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Reveal Wendy Williams Exposed Their Secret Relationship: ‘We Had to Tell Everybody’

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos didn't tell their 'All My Children' co-stars about their secret 1996 wedding until Wendy Williams outed it on the radio.

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Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have Wendy Williams to thank (or blame?) for their relationship becoming public almost 30 years ago. During the February 22 episode of Live with Kelly & Mark, the couple talked about their upcoming episodes that will be taped in Las Vegas, which Mark, 52, described as “the scene of the crime” because of how their relationship was outed in 1996. Kelly, 53, recalled that they went to the Clark County courthouse in Vegas to get a marriage license, but an eyewitness saw them and leaked the news to Wendy, 59.

“Our secret wedding, discovered by none other than Wendy Williams. True facts, I’m not kidding,” Kelly said on her and her husband’s talk show. “We’d eloped. It’d been a few months at that point, we’d been married for three months, nobody at [All My Children] knew we were even dating, much less married to each other. We’re brushing our teeth and we’ve got Wendy Williams’ radio show on. We’re listening, and she’s like, ‘I’ve got celebrity dish. ‘ ”

“The celebrities, I guess they had a broad use of the term back then, was the fact that two soap stars from All My Children, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos … eloped in Las Vegas,” Kelly continued. “There was this eyewitness that worked in the Clark County courthouse that said we eloped, and the news broke, and we had to tell everybody we were married.”

The mom-of-three, who met Mark in 1995 while they were soap opera co-stars, said they wanted to keep their romance a secret “because we worked together and we didn’t want it to be perceived that somehow we couldn’t work together.” Kelly added that trying to hide their marriage “seemed like a good idea” at the time, while Mark acknowledged it was a “harebrained idea.”

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Kelly and Mark eloped on May 1, 1996. They welcomed three children together, sons Michael, 26, and Joaquin, 20 and daughter Lola, 22

In an interview with PEOPLE, the couple confirmed they have plans to visit the chapel where they tied the knot when they do their show in Las Vegas. “We’re definitely going back there,” Mark said, noting that the venue is “a very special place” for him and Kelly. “We always try to make a drive by when we’re in town, but this time, we’re going to take the viewers inside, where it all happened,” the Riverdale actor added.

Kelly looked back on her wedding to Mark and said it was “really romantic” and “very sweet,” even though it cost less than $200. “We cherish those memories, still to this day,” she said in the interview. “It’s been 28 years and we still can remember every minute of that wedding. And I mean, it was really minutes. It was like two minutes! We were very present.”