"That is not the Megyn I knew," The View's Sunny Hostin says of Megyn Kelly's on-air controversies

September 24, 2020 12:00 PM
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Sunny Hostin is sounding off on her former colleague Megyn Kelly.

In her new memoir, I Am These TruthsThe View co-host reflects on working with Kelly at Fox News when they were both up-and-coming legal correspondents.

Hostin tells PEOPLE that while they once had "a friendly relationship," they "don't anymore."

"She's changed a bit from the person that I knew," Hostin, 51, says, alluding to Kelly's various on-air controversies.

In 2013, Kelly faced backlash after she insisted Santa Claus and Jesus are white on her Fox News show The Kelly File. Then in 2018, she questioned if blackface is racist during a segment about controversial Halloween costumes on her NBC morning show, saying, "Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character." (Although she apologized, Megyn Kelly Today was canceled.)

Sunny Hostin
The View

"I was shocked that she morphed into this, you know, 'Santa Claus ain't black, and there's no Black Jesus,' this right winger. Because that is not the Megyn that I met, and that is not the Megyn that I knew. I don't know that that is the real Megyn, the blackface Megyn," adds Hostin, who calls Kelly's controversial remarks "really tone deaf for this time in our history — for any time in our history."

Regarding the blackface controversy, a source close to Kelly tells PEOPLE: “Megyn courageously tried to lead a discussion to begin public weigh in on a topic that was and is very difficult to discuss in our country. How do you create change? You get people to buy in. How do you get them to buy in? You listen to them. There was a lot of hypocrisy on the issue. All she wanted to do was to open up a discussion. Megyn wants to heal the country. And the Halloween segment was intended as the first step.”

Megyn Kelly

While Hostin does not see eye-to-eye with Kelly today, she looks back fondly on their time at Fox News and says she learned a lot working together.

"We started at Fox around the same time. We used to do this wonderful segment together called 'Is it Legal' on Bill O'Reilly's show, and she studied as much as I did," Hostin says. "She was just a wonderful foil. You know, I think we brought the best out in each other. But the minute that camera light turned on, she went for it: She would look directly at the camera, and she would eviscerate me, often. She made me better for it. But off camera, she was delightful and witty and funny and smart."

Kelly officially parted ways with NBC in 2019; she will launch her new project, The Megyn Kelly Show podcast, the week of Sept. 28.

Hostin's memoir, I Am These Truths, is out now.