Top ranked Irish American Fox TV anchor Megyn Kelly (46) says Roger Ailes, the 76-year-old who has been the subject of numerous charges of sexual misconduct, tried to molest her. Ailes was the powerful head of Fox News.
A leak from her new book “Settle for More” makes clear Ailes was stopping at nothing to have his way with Kelly, who many believe is the fastest rising star in cable television.
In the book she details several Ailes efforts to intimidate her. “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.”
The account overlaps with the stories of many women who have come forward to detail their awful experiences with Ailes, the 76-year-old TV whiz who founded Fox News and turned it into a ratings powerhouse. Kelly writes in her book that Ailes volunteered to promote her “in exchange for sexual favors,” a dubious trade-off that Kelly says she rejected at every turn. As one of the most unaccountable people in the news business, however, Ailes felt licensed to proceed.
Escalation took place in January 2006, according to Radar Online. Again from Radar Online:
“[. . . 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.”
The harassment ended after six months, possibly because she reported him to a supervisor, Kelly writes. But when Carlson and the other women began to come forward this year, Kelly said she decided the time had come to speak up.
“Crossing him was a major risk,” she writes in the book, “but what if — God forbid — he was still doing it to someone?”
Susan Estrich, a lawyer who represents Ailes, issued a statement denying the allegation:
“This is what Ms. Kelly had to say about Roger Ailes only one year ago on the Charlie Rose program, ‘I really care about Roger. And he has been nothing but good to me. And he’s been very loyal. And he’s had my back. And he’s looked out for me.’ Mr. Ailes denies her allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind.”