Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is releasing a memoir on November 15, where she’ll reportedly address rumors that Roger Ailes sexually harassed her, in the same decades-long time period where he was reportedly sexually harassing seemingly the majority of the women who crossed his eyeline. Radar Online has obtained what they say is a leaked passage of the book, in which Kelly says Ailes threatened her job when she forcefully rejected his sexual advances.
The book, titled Settle For More, is embargoed until the day it’s released, meaning that reviewers and media organizations aren’t supposed to be receiving early copies. That could be because we’d all immediately flip to the parts where she talks about Roger Ailes (some of which were reportedly added to the manuscript after the rest of the book had been finished). Kelly’s public silence while other Fox News employees were defending Ailes was noticeable, though internally, she is thought to have encouraged other women to speak to investigators looking into Ailes’s behavior. And now, Radar reports that the book confirms he targeted her too, at the beginning of her career at the network in 2005. From their report, a supposed passage:
“Roger began pushing the limits,” she alleges. “There was a pattern to his behavior. I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me — veering between obviously inappropriate sexually charged comments (e.g. about the ‘very sexy bras’ I must have and how he’d like to see me in them) and legitimate professional advice.”
According to Radar, Kelly writes that Ailes offered her a uniquely creepy mix of actual professional advice and blatant sexual come-ons, escalating to physical harassment:
He offered to advance her career “in exchange for sexual favors,” she writes, and even though she says she rejected “every single one,” she claims he tried “physical advances.”
But in January 2006, she claims, he “crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips.” When she shoved him away, she alleges, “he asked me an ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tried to kiss me.”
Kelly reportedly writes that the harassment ended after six months, when she reported him to a supervisor. She also refused to participate in the media campaign in his defense: “There was no way I was going to lie to protect him.”
It is, of course, up to Kelly to disclose sexual harassment in the time and manner of her choosing. But it’s interesting that she’s only using her book to do so, rather than participating in a months-long public debate about the allegations against Ailes, particularly when she seemingly knew they were true all along. (The book release also coincides with the very public conversation about her contract renegotiation with Fox.) And like her coworkers Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, Kelly is also engaging in the time-tested Fox News tradition of plugging her own book on air—the difference being, of course, that hers appears to be dragging down the man that ran their network for so many years, not lifting him up.
Update: Through his attorney, Ailes issued a statement denying the allegations and pointing out Megyn Kelly said something nice about him on Charlie Rose a year ago, before the many sexual harassment claims were made public.