Megyn Kelly's Memoir 'Settle for More': 13 Big Revelations
The Fox News anchor says Roger Ailes made "offers of professional advancement in exchange for sexual favors" and that Trump began reaching out to her six months before he announced his candidacy.
Megyn Kelly's new memoir, Settle for More, doesn't hold back on details of her high-profile feud with President-elect Donald Trump and the storm of allegations surrounding her old boss and former Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Here, THR lists 13 blockbuster revelations from the book that's released Nov. 15.
Trump’s Fawning Behavior
In 2015, six months before he announced his candidacy, Kelly says that Trump began reaching out to her — “often.” He mailed her a copy of a New York Times Magazine cover profile with the note “Great article considering the source.” [Trump denied sending the note, but Kelly includes photographic proof in the book.]
Defaced Head Shots
Kelly says that last summer Trump supporters began returning their signed head shots of Kelly, “writing the word TRAITOR across the picture.”
Advancement for Sexual Favors?
Ailes, alleges Kelly, “made sexual comments to me, offers of professional advancement in exchange for sexual favors, and eventually, physical attempts to be with me — every single one of which I rejected.”
In 2006, Kelly told her then-office-mate Major Garrett, now at CBS News, about the alleged harassment, and said he “was stunned and had never heard of Roger behaving that way.”
Ailes “Just Smitten”
Kelly says she reported the alleged harassment to a supervisor, whom she does not name. “That person,” she writes, “vouched for Roger’s character, suggested he was likely just smitten, and recommended that I try to avoid him (which I hadn’t realized was actually an option). To this day, I don’t know if this person pressed the matter further up the line at Fox.” She insists that no one ever contacted her.
Kelly was approached several times to defend Ailes publicly. When she refused, she writes, “he engineered hit pieces about me online, which cited ‘Fox News insiders,’ to suggest that I was being ‘selfish’ for not defending him or looking to improve ‘my brand’ by having a ‘feminist moment.’ ” When Kelly got her own show in 2013, Bill O’Reilly warned her “that prime-time cable news is a snake pit, and I would have to gird myself for acrimony.”
Trump Goes Ballistic
A week before the Aug. 6, 2015, primary debate, Kelly reported on a Daily Beast story about divorce proceedings between Donald Trump and Ivana Trump in which Ivana testified that he raped her. A few days later, Trump demanded Kelly call him. When she reiterated that he did not “control the editorial content of The Kelly File,” he “snapped.” “That’s IT!” he shouted. “You’re a disgrace! You should be ashamed of yourself. You should be ashamed of yourself!”
Debate Questions Leaked to Trump?
Kelly has said that she does not think that anyone leaked her infamous debate question to Trump, but she writes: “The day before the [Aug. 6] debate, Trump called Bill Sammon [the Fox News exec in charge of the debate], clearly anxious about the debate and me in particular. He said he had ‘heard’ that my first question was a very pointed question directed at him. How could he have known that? I wondered.”
After the debate, Kelly would return to work after a preplanned 10-day vacation to “find a litany of voice mails…calling me a ‘c—,’ ‘bitch,’ and ‘f—ing whore.’ "
Cohen Far From Gutted
When Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney, retweeted a Trump supporter who said “we can gut her,” Kelly became “alarmed.” Fox News executives called Cohen, who did not back down. “[Fox News co-president Bill] Shine, exasperated by Cohen’s indifference, tried to explain it in terms Cohen might understand: ‘If Megyn Kelly is killed, it’s not going to help your candidate.' ”
Perhaps Ailes will “Lose Interest”
Kelly writes that “early on,” she was “still hoping” the alleged harassment “would end without confrontation. Perhaps he’ll lose interest, I thought. Perhaps he’ll get the hint. I was also bewildered that he would take such risks with someone he barely knew. I am an attorney. How could he be so reckless?”
Attempts to Plant Kisses
In January 2006, Kelly alleges, Ailes “crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips,” she writes. “I dodged the first two attempts, pushed him away, and immediately went to leave. His office was large and it took me a beat to get to the door, which was closed. As I walked away from him he followed me and asked me an ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tired to kiss me. I dodged him again and walked out — upset, rattled and angry.”
Another Female Anchor Says Relationship with Ailes “Strictly Professional”
After Ailes’ alleged harassment in early 2006, Kelly called Willis Goldsmith, then the partner in charge of employment law at her old firm, Jones Day. Goldsmith tried to raise the issue with a female anchor who had been at Fox News longer. “She said she and Roger has always had a strictly professional relationship,” writes Kelly.
This story appeared in the Nov. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.