Megyn Kelly delivered a biting and powerful monologue in response to the bombshell New York Times report on Bill O’Reilly’s massive $32 million settlement with Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl over sexual harassment allegations.
Kelly kicked off her show — ahead of her interview with O’Reilly accuser Juliet Huddy — emphasizing the enormous settlement payout made by O’Reilly to Wiehl, the analyst who reportedly accused the anchor of “repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her.”
Kelly, who made accusations of sexual harassment against Ailes in her memoir Settle For More, went on to detail her own problems with O’Reilly. Kelly recalled a time O’Reilly appeared on CBS News, as Settle For More was released, to hit back against those who try to “make [Fox News] look bad.”
O’Reilly’s appearance apparently prompted Kelly to pen an email to the then-co-presidents of Fox News, Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy, in which she slammed O’Reilly for “his attitude of shaming women,” and reminded the executives of his history of sexual harassment accusations.
But apparently the Fox heads didn’t listen: though Shine told Kelly he had dealt with O’Reilly, the Fox News anchor used his primetime show that evening to again bash the sexual harassment victims that were speaking out.
Kelly ended her opening monologue with an evocative diatribe against the culture of harassment and fear that she claims is pervasive:
“This is not unique to Fox News. Women everywhere are used to being dismissed, ignored or attacked when raising complaints about men in authority positions. They stay silent so often out of fear. Fear of ending their career, fear of lawyers, yes. And often fear of public shaming, including through the media.”
She even turned her ire towards Fox News publicist Irena Briganti, calling her out by name:
“At Fox News, the media relations chief Irena Briganti is known for her vindictiveness. To this day she pushes negative articles on certain Ailes accusers, like the one you are looking at right now.”
Kelly noted that her former employer has “absolutely made some reforms since all of this went down,” before concluding:
“But this must stop. the abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening and the retaliation, the silencing of them after the attack,” Kelly declared. “It has to stop.”
Watch the full monologue above, via NBC.
UPDATE 12:02 p.m. EST: 21st Century Fox has put out a statement in support of Irena Briganti:
[image via screengrab]