Maria Menounos, the popular television presenter who spent the last two and a half years co-hosting "Extra" alongside Mario Lopez, is leaving the entertainment news program.
On Monday, sources close to the 35-year-old entertainment reporter told US Weekly that Menounos was not fired from "Extra
," but decided to leave on her own.
"Maria was 100 percent not fired," the source told US Weekly. "The truth is she decided months ago on her own to explore other options, as she knew her contract was coming up for renewal. She made this decision."
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The source's information contradicts previous rumors about Menounos' departure from "Extra," which were reported by the New York Post's Page Six
on Monday. In an interview with another unnamed source, the tabloid reported that the entertainment reporter's contract was up and was not being renewed, with the source adding that "Maria and Mario barely even speak to each other."
Quoting another source, Page Six also reported that Menounos' ego had become too big for the show.
"Maria has become a big diva," the source said. "Do we really need to see her in a bikini yet again?"
The person was reportedly referring to the time Menounos lost a Super Bowl bet and stripped down to a bikini on the air.
Another rumor that has been circulating is that Menounos chose to leave "Extra" because of her new Oxygen reality show "Chasing Maria Menounos," which centers around her life as a 35-year-old still living at home with her parents
, boyfriend, and a family friend all under the same roof.
According to the source that spoke to US Weekly, "There is no bad energy [between Maria and 'Extra']. Maria has so much going on with her reality show, and she's happy that she has so many options to explore right now."
A rep for "Extra" would not comment "on talent contracts or negotiations." Menounos' rep also had no comment, US Weekly noted.
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