Michael Strahan has been a beloved television personality since retiring from the NFL in 2008. He’s hosted popular morning shows, including Live! with Kelly and Michael and Good Morning America, as well as the popular primetime game show, $100,000 Pyramid. But rumors have been circulating for a while about the 50-year-old former Giant’s sexual orientation. The truth is, there’s no evidence that Michael Strahan is gay, but he is an ally for the LGBTQ community. So where exactly did these rumors come from? We investigate.
Accusations From Strahan’s Ex-Wife Sparked The Gay Rumors
It seems that the rumors originated back in 2006 when Strahan was in the midst of a messy and contentious divorce with his second wife, Jean Muggli. The couple was married for seven years—from 1999 until 2006—and had two children together, twins Sophia and Isabella.
During the divorce proceedings, Muggli accused Strahan of having an extramarital affair with Dr. Ian Smith, who’s best known for his co-hosting gig on the health talk show The Doctors. “Michael moved into Ian’s one-bedroom apartment,” Muggli said in court. “And you can say an alternative lifestyle sprouted.” At this point, her lawyer stopped her from elaborating any further.
Muggli also filed a domestic violence complaint against Strahan, claiming that the former football pro physically abused her. It appears as though the complaint was quickly dropped, and what’s even more interesting is the fact that Muggli faced similar charges in 2021 for violating a restraining order.
According to The Daily Mail, the restraining order was filed against Muggli by her ex-girlfriend, Marianne Ayer. In her filing, Ayer accused Strahan’s ex of a number of troubling crimes, including harassment, forcible touching and coercion, disorderly conduct, and grand larceny. She alleged Muggli once threatened her at gunpoint (the firearm was fake, but Ayer did not know that) and even abused her pets by kicking her German Shepherd.
Strahan Set The Record Straight
Strahan vehemently denied his ex’s allegations of abuse while trying to remain as civil as possible. “It’s unfortunate that some marriages don’t always work out for both parties, but that’s a painful reality of the times we live in,” he told the New York Post in 2005. “I would never physically or psychologically harm any of my loved ones, especially my wife. That’s simply not the man I am. I will continue to respect Jean’s privacy and not contribute to a public spectacle of an extremely private matter.”
The former football pro also added that what mattered the most to him was his kids. “I love my children with all my heart and will continue to be the father figure that I had growing up. I owe it to my daughters to end my marriage respectfully and with dignity.”
In 2012, Strahan addressed the gay rumors in an interview with Bryant Gumbel on HBO’s Real Sports, saying: “I’m not an adulterer. I’m not gay. I mean, I didn’t beat anybody.”
Strahan Is An LGBTQ Ally
Strahan is also not homophobic; he publicly supports the LGBTQ community through initiatives like the Human Rights Campaign’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality.
“As a defensive end for the New York Giants, I always played the game tough but fair,” he says in the HRC’s PSA. “And I feel it’s unfair to stop committed couples from getting married. We believe everyone should have the right to get married.”
Strahan also continues to show his support for gay athletes.
“I think at this point in the landscape of sports and anybody with common sense understands that people are different,” Strahan said in a 2016 interview with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. “What you do as a person and at home doesn’t determine how you do your job. And as athletes, we understand that. I think the locker room is a safe place.”