Megyn Kelly Breaks Silence on ‘Bombshell’: ‘I Do Wish I Had Done More’

Megyn Kelly broke her silence on “Bombshell,” the latest media project to examine the culture of Fox News Channel under the aegis of its founding executive, Roger AIles.

On Friday, Kelly posted a video in which she and other former Fox News staffers screened the film, which stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie, and examines the events that transpired leading up to Ailes’ ouster in 2016 after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson levied allegations of harassment against him. Ailes, who died in 2017, denied the claims. Kelly also held a roundtable discussion to share reactions with former Fox co-workers Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann. Kelly’s husband, Douglas Brunt, also took part in the proceedings.

Here are the five biggest takeaways:

There were a few events in the film that didn’t happen. 

Kelly took a moment to discuss some of the liberties the film took with her story. “They suggest that I had run my debate questions for Trump by the Murdochs. That’s a fantasy. I never ran it by Ailes or the Murdochs, or anyone other than my debate team,” she said. “The notion that Roger liked the ‘Donald Trump woman question’ because it created controversy in a TV moment was not true. Roger did not like the question at all and was very angry at me for asking it. And at one point eventually asking me, ‘no more female empowerment stuff.'”

“There certainly were no protests of me at the GOP convention. There were other people’s protests,” she continued. “That was all BS.”

Laurie Luhn plays a bigger role in the real story than what was shown in the film.

“I worked for Laurie Luhn, who was a victim and perpetrator for Roger,” Zann said. Luhn earns a larger storyline in Showtime’s limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which Kelly acknowledges, saying Luhn is portrayed as an “somebody’s whose been forced to service him sexually, and then trying to get out of the relationship by offering him up a replacement.”

Zann claims to have been one of the “replacements” sent in by Luhn. “It’s horrifying to know that you’re just trying to do a job and to be sent in by a woman, it’s just very very hard,” she said.

Julie Zann claims the office scene with Margot Robbie’s character and Ailes was fairly accurate. 

There’s a scene in the film in which Robbie’s character makes a play in Ailes’ office to win an on-camera role, and Ailes responds by telling her to prove her loyalty, and suggests she do so in a lewd manner.

“He brought me in and he said, ‘Laurie [Zann’s supervisor] tells me that you’re a rising star.’ And he commented on how I looked. He asked me what I wouldn’t do for Fox. After he commented on my outfit, he said tell me more about yourself and I said, ‘I’m a shoe person.’ And he said, ‘I hear women who like shoes also like lingerie,'” she told the group.

She went on to explain how he further propositioned her saying, “He had positioned himself in his chair with his legs opened and he wanted me to ask him to give him oral sex. And I was not going to go there. Then, my relationship with Laurie turned very quickly on a dime and [I] was fired a few months later.”

Three of the four women did the infamous ‘spin’ in Ailes’ office. 

All of the women said they were asked to do a ‘twirl’ for AIles. Only Bakhtiar claimed she didn’t do it. “He never did the twirl thing to me. He would say, ‘turn around let me see your ass. You’re too skinny, gain some weight.'” Huddy said.

Even Kelly said she did the spin for Ailes. “I remember feeling like, I put myself through school. I was offered partnership at Jones Day, one of the best law firms in the world. I argued before federal courts of appeal all over the nation, I came here. I’m covering the United States Supreme Court. I graduated with honors in all of my programs and now he wants me to twirl. and I did it,” she said. “If you don’t get how demeaning that is, I can’t help you.”

None of the women approved of the scene where Robbie’s character Kayla Pospisle calls out Megyn Kelly for her silence. 

As the women watched the scene, Bakhtiar and Kelly reacted in the theater, calling the scene “bullshit.”

“When I saw that scene I thought it was shameful, because its unfactual and it is victim-shaming, and this is a movie about sexual harassment. This is sending the wrong message. You were just a real support system and I know that it wasn’t just me. It was for a lot of other people,” Zann said.

But while the women each expressed their disapproval, Kelly claims she still wouldn’t cut the scene from the film because it represents a real regret for her in her career. “I’ve looked back on my own life, every moment from that moment forward and I do wish I had done more. Even though I was powerless, even though it would’ve been a suicidal move for me career-wise, what if I had just said, ‘screw it?'” she said, choking up. “Maybe that wouldn’t have happened to you [Zann].”




More TV

  • Terry Crews

    Terry Crews Addresses Gabrielle Union 'America's Got Talent' Controversy

    “America’s Got Talent” host Terry Crews addressed reports that Gabrielle Union was effectively fired from the competition show in November after raising concerns over insensitivities to women and people of color. Speaking to “Today Show” hosts, Crews said that the reports did not match his experience working on the NBC show. “First of all, I [...]

  • Best Picture - 'Green Book'91st Annual

    Film vs TV? In Truth, They've Been Married for 70 Years

    In a prescient Variety column in 1978, reporter Jim Harwood talked about the blurring distinction (artistic and technical) between film and television. He wrote: “Is a ‘motion picture’ any less of an accomplishment if it’s beamed from Hollywood directly to a wall-sized screen in somebody’s home instead of being hauled in cans to something called [...]

  • Lil Nas X and BTSVariety Hitmakers

    Lil Nas X and BTS to Team Up for Grammy Performance

    Was Lil Nas X the pop culture phenomenon of 2019, or was it BTS? Either way, the Grammys have it covered — and within a single number. The Recording Academy and CBS officially confirmed Thursday that the rapper and the K-pop group will perform together on the awards telecast Jan. 26. It’s not the first [...]

  • Tubi-and-TV-Azteca

    Intl. TV Newswire: NATPE Miami Sales Special and the AVoD Revolution

    In this week’s special NATPE: Miami International TV Newswire, Variety looks at the AVoD revolution through a new deal between Tubi and Mexico’s Azteca, ITV and Kew Media sell big across the Americas and two high-profile HBO Latin America series join Hulu Japan’s Latin American showcase. Tubi and Azteca Presage AVoD Revolution Tubi, the world’s largest AVoD [...]

  • CHICAGO MED -- "Leave the Choice

    TV Ratings: NBC's 'Chicago' Dramas Tick Down, Still Top Wednesday

    NBC’s trio of “Chicago” dramas ticked down in the TV ratings last night, but there’s no need to call the police, the fire brigade or an ambulance quite yet. “Chicago Med,” “Fire” and “P.D.” were still the top three shows on the night, scoring a 1.1, a 1.1 and a 1.0 rating respectively among adults [...]

  • Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 22/01/2020 -

    NATPE 2020: TV Biz Looks Back and Forward as Streaming Wars Ensue

    MIAMI — The atmosphere at the annual NATPE conference this year was a bit of old school and a lot of new school. In keeping with NATPE’s remit as a content market, hopeful stars of new fall talk show prospects pressed the flesh in a flurry of meetings and receptions with station buyers. MGM TV’s [...]

  • NBC News Launches Documentary Studio for

    NBC News Launches Documentary Studio for Streaming-Video Era (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBC News hopes to be among those vying to make the next “Civil War,” “Capturing the Friedmans” or “Blackfish.” After closing down its long-running Peacock Productions non-fiction unit, NBC News is quickly getting back into the documentary business with NBC News Studios. The new division, led by Liz Cole, will produce premium documentaries, docu-series, select [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content