Journalist Megyn Kelly and three other women who made sexual harassment allegations while working at Fox News reacted to the movie “Bombshell” Thursday on Kelly’s YouTube page.
“Bombshell” depicts the takedown of former Fox CEO Roger Ailes and stars actress Charlize Theron as Kelly. The journalist sat down with talk show host Juliet Huddy, producer Rudi Bakhtiar, producer Julie Zaan and Kelly’s husband Doug Brunt to discuss how the movie compared to the real life sexual misconduct allegations.
Kelly began by speaking about the moments “Bombshell” got wrong. Most notable is how the movie depicted Kelly’s decision to ask President Donald Trump about his treatment of women at the Aug. 6, 2015 Republican presidential debate.
“Bombshell” claimed that Kelly ran her question, which sparked a host of responses from Trump, by the Murdochs, who founded Fox News. Kelly said Thursday that this idea was “a fantasy.” (RELATED: Charlize Theron And Nicole Kidman Are Dead Ringers For Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson In Ailes Film)
“The notion that Roger [Ailes] liked the Donald Trump women question because it created controversy in a TV moment was not true,” Kelly continued. “Roger did not like the question at all and was very angry at me for asking it and at one point actually said to me, ‘no more female empowerment stuff!’”
Kelly added that there were no protests of her at the GOP convention, as the movie showed. She also said the idea that current executive vice president of corporate communications for Fox News Irena Briganti would refuse to “hit talent” was a lie.
During one part of the movie, Ailes is seen telling Briganti to find positive things Kelly has said about him over the years and get it into the press. Briganti said she couldn’t “discredit an anchor” she was paid to promote, according to the movie.
“The notion that Irena Briganti did not plant hit pieces on the talent is a fantasy,” Kelly said as the other women laughed and agreed. “That is the number one thing they got wrong. Irena 100% would hit talent and did many times.”
Kelly’s half-hour long interview with other Fox News sexual harassment accusers also included notable moments from the other Fox accusers present. The four spoke about what the dynamic of being harassed feels like and gave details about specific incidents where they were made to feel uncomfortable.
“No blowjobs by me for Roger,” Zaan said. “But, that’s what he asked for and I lost my job because I didn’t say no.”
“He commented on how I looked. He asked me what I wouldn’t do for Fox. After he commented about my outfit, he said tell me more about yourself, and I said, ‘oh, I’m a shoe person.’” And he said, ‘oh, I hear that women who like shoes also like lingerie.’”
Kelly read excerpts from past journal entries throughout the interview, noting the moment Ailes tried to kiss her three times in 2006.
“His lips were wet and he smelled like alcohol…so awkward. So fucking awkward, is what it says,” Kelly said as she read from a diary.
Huddy also discussed the multiple times former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly allegedly pleasured himself while on the phone with her. Bakhtiar recalled when she lost her job after refusing allegedly sexual advances from former Fox anchor Brian Wilson. He left the network in 2010.
“That’s exactly what happened to me,” Bakhtiar recalled. “I was trying to save it. That was the end of me. That was the last time I was in D.C. for Fox News. As soon as I complained, I lost my job.”
In the end, Kelly lamented about the possibility that she could have done more when she first took her concerns to a supervisor years before Ailes was fired. The supervisor said Ailes was going through a bad time in his marriage and suggested Kelly keep her head down.
“I’ve looked back on my own life, every moment from that moment forward, and I do wish I had done more,” Kelly said during the interview. “Even though I was powerless, even though it would have been a suicidal move for me career wise. 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.”
Ailes was fired from Fox in July of 2016 after an independent investigation found numerous sexual harassment complaints. He died at age 77 in 2017. O’Reilly was fired as well in 2017, following multiple sexual harassment claims.