Megyn Kelly Says She Performed "Infamous" Twirl for Roger Ailes in Sit-Down With Fox News Accusers

"If you don't get how demeaning that is, I can't help you," says Kelly in a 30-minute conversation with Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann about the truths and liberties taken in the movie 'Bombshell.'

Megyn Kelly delivered on her promise to fully digest Bombshell, Lionsgate's awards-buzzy drama about the women who exposed sexual harassment at Fox News under former chief Roger Ailes, during a revealing sit-down with other accusers.

When the film was first released, Kelly took to Instagram to say that, though she had no involvement with the movie (in which Charlize Theron portrayed her with uncanny similarity), it was an "incredibly emotional experience" to watch her story on the big screen and that she would return with more thoughts on the film.

On Thursday, Kelly posted a teaser video for "Megyn Kelly Presents: A Response to Bombshell," where she sits down with her husband, Douglas Brunt (played by Mark Duplass in the film), and fellow Fox News accusers Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann to discuss their thoughts on the movie after a group screening. Huddy and Bakhtiar are briefly portrayed in the pic, while Zann, when sitting down with Kelly to speak out for the first time on camera, says the scenes with Margot Robbie's composite character were most similar to her experiences. (More on that below.)

During the three-minute preview of the Kelly-hosted sit-down, Huddy told Kelly that her mother heard former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly "pleasuring himself" on speakerphone, and all the women shared whether or not they had to perform the "infamous spin" for Ailes inside his office.

A powerful scene in Bombshell features Robbie's character meeting privately with Ailes about her career and being asked by the then-Fox News boss to twirl for him to show off her body. The scene digresses from there.

Bakhtiar told Kelly that she was asked by Ailes to get up and turn around, though she declined; Zann said she was asked to "twirl" and that she did it; and Huddy said she was instead asked things like, "Turn around so I can see your ass."

When the women pose the question back to Kelly, she said, "So I was asked to do the spin, and God help me, I did it. I know people think it's like, 'Oh, yeah, you have to spin around.' But I remember feeling like: I put myself through school; I was offered partnership at Jones Day, one of the best law firms in the world; I argued before federal courts of appeal all over the nation; I came here, I'm covering the U.S. Supreme Court; I graduated with honors from all of my programs — and now he wants me to twirl. And I did it."

She added, "If you don't get how demeaning that is, I can't help you. In retrospect, I'd give anything if I had said 'no.'"

When sharing the teaser video, Kelly wrote that she had "no connection to the movie Bombshell, other than I lived it. I did not produce, consult on, or have anything to do with the film. Neither I nor the women I watched it with sold the rights to our stories (or in my case, my book), so it was somewhat jarring to see a version of our experiences told by strangers." (Huddy violated her nondisclosure agreement when she left Fox News over allegations that O'Reilly sexually harassed her to share her story, including with screenwriter Charles Randolph.) 

Kelly's post continued: "I watched the movie with some of my friends, who, like me, were sexually harassed while at Fox News. We talked about it afterward in what proved to be an emotional, raw, revealing discussion of what the filmmakers got right, wrong, and what really happened to us those years ago."

Along with the preview, Kelly had announced that she would release the full video conversation at 4 p.m. ET Thursday. (Watch below.) And the 30-minute sit-down opens with the women discussing fact vs. fiction when it comes to projects like Bombshell and Showtime's Ailes series, The Loudest Voice — both of which Kelly reiterates the women have "no stake" in.

"It's very surreal to see a story that involves you be told without you being able to tell it. And they got a lot right; they got a lot kind of ... not wrong," said Huddy.

Kelly interjected, "They took liberties."

An emotional Zann said about Bombshell, "'It was worse than that.' That was my immediate takeaway: 'Wow, you really let Roger off easy.'"

As for Theron's standout portrayal of Kelly, the host said she was too close to comment: "It's just too weird to see somebody who looks just like you on the screen, pretending to be you."

In pointing out inaccuracies in the film, Kelly says she never ran her famous 2015 debate questions for then-Republican candidate Donald Trump by Fox owners the Murdochs or Ailes, and she said Ailes was actually angry at her for asking the question about women to Trump. "No more female empowerment stuff!" she says he told her. Kelly also says "the notion that [Fox News spokeswoman] Irena Briganti did not plant hit pieces on the talent is a fantasy — that was the No. 1 thing they got wrong. Irena 100 percent would hit talent and did many times." (A spokesperson for Fox News vehemently denies this.)

But the women all agreed that the film accurately captured the experience of being sexually harassed. "I think this is such a powerful movie. It really puts people in our shoes, I think, and Margot Robbie does a great job of being the victim," said Bakhtiar.

All the women said they cried during the scene where Robbie, Theron and Nicole Kidman's (as Gretchen Carlson) characters get into an elevator together for a ride to Ailes' office. "You immediately go to what happened to you and what her fate was," said Zann of Robbie's character.

Zann, who worked as an associate producer in the Fox booking unit for Laurie Luhn, calls Luhn both "a victim and perpetrator for Roger" who allegedly offered up replacement women to Ailes. (Luhn denied sending staffers to Ailes for sex, but knew the private meetings could expose the women to sexual harassment.) "I was one of those replacements," says Zann, adding that this is her first time speaking out on camera. "It's horrifying to know that you're just trying to do a job and to be sent in by a woman, it's just very, very hard. The Margot Robbie scenes were very, very close to what actually happened." But she makes one thing clear: She did not submit. "But that's what he asked for and I lost my job because I did say no."

Kelly shared with Zann parallels in both of their private encounters with Ailes. "What you see in so many of these cases are patterns that you don't know is a pattern when it's being unleashed on you, and you alone in the room," said Kelly, who then turned to the then-pervasiveness of sexual harassment at the network.

Bakhtiar said the scene where she was propositioned by colleague Brian Wilson in the film was accurate. "That was the end of me. He actually took me off his show the next day after I said no," she said. "It was immediate. As soon as I complained I lost my job." And Huddy spoke about O'Reilly "taking care of himself" while on the phone with her. "I ended up losing everything." (Huddy claimed O'Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011 and when she refused, he tried to derail her career.)

Kelly then read excerpts from her own journal about the sexual harassment she endured, including a scene portrayed in the movie where Ailes attempts to kiss her three times in his office and she rebuffs his advances. "The scenes portrayed of me in the movie are when I did have power. But when I went through it with Ailes, I was a second-year reporter," she said.

In 2016, Kelly complained to a superior but nothing came of it, and eventually she and Ailes returned to a working relationship. Later that year, when Carlson went public with her claims against Ailes, Kelly says she and meteorologist Janice Dean found other women who had been harassed at Fox News. Kelly eventually called Lachlan Murdoch requesting an outside investigation: "And to their credit, they did it." Kelly's name was ultimately leaked to the press revealing her accusations, which prompted Zann to confide in Kelly about her experience.

That is why both Kelly and Zann had a strong reaction to the scene in the film where the Kelly character tells Robbie's character, "How do you think a woman gets a primetime Fox show?" when confronted about the harassment she faced.

Zann called the scene "shameful" because it is "un-factual and it is victim-shaming." She added about Kelly, "If this is a movie about sexual harassment, this is sending the wrong message. And that is what they don't have right in this film or in the miniseries, is that you were just a real support system. And I know it wasn't just me."

Bakhtiar called Kelly a pivotal voice in the #MeToo movement: "If you had burned your star in 2006/2007 like I did, we wouldn't be here today."

While the women all agreed that scene was "written by a man," Kelly says she wouldn't take the moment out because she wishes she had done more: "What if I had just said, 'Screw it'? What if I had thrown myself in the fire back then? Maybe that wouldn't have happened to you." When the women disagreed and said it's unlikely the Robbie character would get another job after speaking out, Kelly added, "I can tell you, having gone from Fox to NBC, it's going to be very much like the last place." 

Fox News has not commented on the film. In response to a Hollywood Reporter report about the film's sources, a spokesperson said, in part, of the late Ailes, "Since the 2016 departure of Roger Ailes, Fox News has worked tirelessly to completely change the company culture. No other company has implemented such a comprehensive and continuous overhaul. We are incredibly proud of our team and will continue to emphasize transparency across all Fox News Media."

Jan. 9, 2 p.m. Updated to include Kelly's full "Megyn Kelly Presents: A Response to Bombshell" conversation.
Jan 9, 3:40 p.m. Updated to include denial note from Fox News spokesperson.