“Despite my efforts to handle this process confidentially, NBC News is allowing the media to run with completely false and irresponsible reports that disparage Megyn by erroneously claiming she has ever asked for more money than her contract requires,”said Bryan Freedman, a California attorney who is representing Kelly as she and NBC work out a separation in the wake of the cancellation of her morning program, “Megyn Kelly Today.’ The attorney added: “If NBC News is not the source then they have a responsibility as a news division to correct these false claims. Or are they somehow attempting to use these fabrications for some fictitious advantage in the discussions we’re having? If Andy Lack has lost control, my hope would be that Steve Burke can step in and not permit blatant lies about our discussions to remain uncorrected.”
A report surfaced Tuesday in The Daily Mail, citing anonymous sources, suggesting that Kelly would seek a bonus on top of the money she believes is owed to her through her three-year agreement with NBCUniversal. Andy Lack is chairman of NBC News.
“Unlike Mr. Freedman, who has repeatedly commented to the media throughout the negotiations, we respect the confidentiality of the process, and will have no comment until it reaches its conclusion,” NBC News said in a statement.
The two sides are said to be at odds over the structure of non-disclosure and non-compete stipulations that could restrict Kelly after she leaves, according to a person familiar with the matter.
These types of discussions are common in separation negotiations. Sticking points in the current talks, which remain fluid, concern the length of time Kelly could not work elsewhere, and what she might or might not be able to say about her soon-to-be former employer, as well as what NBC might be able to say about her.
NBC canceled Kelly’s morning program late last week in the wake of an October 23 broadcast during which the anchor led a discussion about Halloween costumes and blackface that spurred immediate offense. She apologized quickly in its aftermatch. But the discussion also drew criticism from NBC News colleagues including Al Roker and Craig Melvin.
NBC News executives had been in loose talks with the anchor about finding a new role that would involve her in hard news stories rather than the lighter fare of her morning program, but those conversations were derailed.
In two tweets posted Wednesday, Kelly protested treatment of her family by The Daily Mail, noting that that outlet’s photographers would not honor her wishes that they not capture and transmit images of her children. Other paparazzi camped outside her home did listen to her, she said.