Megyn Kelly's Shocking Memoir: 9 Things We Learned About Roger Ailes' Alleged Sexual Harassment
"But the truth is, I was lucky — by this point in my career, Roger could not destroy me," Kelly wrote in her new memoir
Megyn Kelly is “Paying It Forward” by looking back.
One so-named chapter in the Fox News host’s memoir, Settle for More, details Kelly’s firsthand account of the sexual harassment she allegedly endured at the hands of the 76-year-old former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
Below are the most shocking moments from inside the chapter.
1. Kelly kept records of Ailes’ behavior and shared them with investigators during Ailes’ case.
“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.”
2. Ailes made sure to scare Kelly into not talking about his alleged harassment by reminding her who held the power.
“Roger had made sure I knew the stakes, telling me: ‘I don’t like to fight, but when I do, I fight to kill.’ The message could not have been clearer: ‘If you tell anyone, I will destroy you.’ ”
3. The moment Ailes physically crossed the line was when he allegedly trying to force Kelly to kiss him on the lips.
“Roger called me up to New York and we had a shocking exchange. I was nervous about going into his office, concerned he might start in again. Sure enough he did. And then he crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips.”
She tried to leave but before she could get to the door, Ailes allegedly tried for a third time, but she dodged him and walked out of his office.
4. Even after all of the alleged sexual harassment, Kelly tried to see past Ailes’ behavior for nine years.
After the January 2006 incident, Ailes never sexually harassed her again and the pair went on to have a “professional relationship in which he was, for the most part, a supportive boss, who mentored and looked out for me.”
Kelly, now 45, also added that she and her husband would attend dinner parties at Ailes’ house where she got to know his wife and son.
5. When Gretchen Carlson came forward with her lawsuit against Ailes, Kelly was allegedly told to publicly defend him.
“I was approached several times, and several times I refused …. When I refused, 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.’ ”
6. Kelly called Ailes’ victims an “underground army of women” who had to quietly form without him finding out.
“The stakes were very high; our jobs were potentially in danger, and Roger was digging in for a fight.”
7. She credits her daughter Yardley for giving her the extra strength to call Lachlan Murdoch about Ailes’ alleged harassment towards her.
Kelly revealed that while still on the fence about going on record with her personal account, it was Yardley who helped solidify her decision to talk.
“My daughter, who deserved to have her mother stand up and say, ‘This man will not do this to another woman at Fox News. Ever.’ “
8. Kelly felt as if she was one of the lucky ones, as other victims weren’t in the same position career wise to engage in a legal battle with Ailes.
“But the truth is, I was lucky — by this point in my career, Roger could not destroy me. That was not necessarily true for the other women who went on record, all of whom were incredibly brave.”
9. She admits that some of her colleagues, who supported Ailes until his firing, had “misjudged” the situation.
“My friends at Fox are decent and kind. Most didn’t mean to join some pressure campaign — they just misjudged a confusing situation.”
As for Kelly’s allegations about Ailes, his attorney Susan Estrich issued a statement to PEOPLE on Monday, which reads in full: “I categorically deny the allegations Megyn Kelly makes about me. I worked tirelessly to promote and advance her career, as Megyn herself admitted to Charlie Rose. Watch that interview and then decide for yourself. My attorneys have restricted me from commenting further — so suffice it to say that no good deed goes unpunished.”
Settle for More is now available everywhere books are sold.