- “Bombshell” is the forthcoming movie starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, two TV journalists who allege they were sexually harassed by late Fox News founder, Roger Ailes.
- A new teaser for the film hints at how the women have said they were pressured to be secretive and dismissive about their experiences.
- During an interview at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference in 2017, Megyn Kelly detailed the alleged sexual harassment by Roger Ailes.
- “I reported it to the supervisor who told me just to steer clear of him,” said Kelly in the interview.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Megyn Kelly: Well, I mean, he harassed me early on in my tenure at FOX and we got past it. So those promotions and all that happened after we got past it. But I was scared when it happened to me. I was second-year reporter at FOX. I wasn’t the me that I am now. I had no power in the industry at all. And no power at FOX News.
I was working the D.C. bureau, and I was doing it. I was doing well. I was making my bones. I was reporting on big cases at the Supreme Court using my legal background, breaking news. The Duke alleged rape case was a big case for me, and I got that one right and most reporters didn’t. It was good for me. My career was going well.
So when he started it wasn’t clear. Like, he was always bawdy and had an inappropriate sense of humour. But I’ve never been, some people feel differently, but I’ve never been somebody who really takes offence at that. So I was quick to write off the comments, like, “Oh, that’s just him.”
The harassment that I went through wasn’t obviously harassment in the beginning, and then it graduated. It just got worse and worse and worse, to the point where you couldn’t deny it. It was explicit quid pro quo sexual harassment, which was basically, you sleep with me and I’ll give you a promotion. And even in those moments I tried to laugh it off, and pretend I wasn’t hearing what I was hearing, or try to pretend that I had misunderstood, because I didn’t want a direct confrontation with him.
I didn’t want to have to reject him explicitly, and I think this is telling, because a lot of women to whom this happens in the workplace have this calculation where you’re thinking, “Holy you know what. “My whole job is on the line right now “The last thing I want to do is upset and reject my boss.” We generally want to charm our bosses and have them feel good about us. And truly the culmination of it was in his office, because when you’d go in there and he’d shut the door and he’d lock the door.
Alyson Shontell: That’s terrifying.
Kelly: You would sort of shrug it off, because he was known to be very paranoid about security. But that feeling I’ll never forget of going in there and having him lock that door. So it culminated in him trying to be with me physically. And it was only at that point where you couldn’t pretend it wasn’t happening anymore that I really had to come to terms with it and I ran out of the guys office and he tried to grab me three times. Make out with me, which he didn’t. But I had to shove him off of me. And he came back. And I shoved him again, and he came back a third time. And then when I shoved him off a third time he asked me when my contract was up.
Shontell: Oh my God. Wow. So how do you, you clearly went on from that. I think in your book you talk about you distanced yourself as much as you could from him after he’s saying —
Kelly: Well, I reported it to the supervisor who told me just to steer clear of him, which really at the time seemed like good advice, because it was a good way to navigate forward. But in retrospect was terrible, terrible advice.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on November 29, 2017.
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