Kelly reportedly details incidents of sexual harassment and attempted assault at the hands of former Fox News head Roger Ailes in her forthcoming memoir, Settle for More.
Radar Online has published what it says are excerpts from a copy of the book the site obtained. In the snippets, which Radar Online says were added to the manuscript “at the last minute,” Kelly accuses Ailes of starting a months-long campaign of harassment in 2005, soon after Fox News brought her on as a legal correspondent.
In the passages quoted by Radar Online, Kelly writes that her managing editor told her she had “captured the attention” of Ailes and sent her to meet with the chairman in New York on several occasions. Radar Online reports that the book contains allegations that Ailes said he’d promote Kelly “in exchange for sexual favors,” but she rejected “every single” verbal and physical advance.
“Roger began pushing the limits,” Kelly reportedly writes. “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.”
Then, in January 2006, Kelly writes, Ailes threatened that she’d lose her job if she didn’t comply with his sexual advances. He “crossed a new line—trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips,” she alleges in the book. She writes that she pushed him away, and he asked her an “ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tried to kiss me.”
In the passages published by Radar Online, Kelly claims that Ailes stopped harassing her after six months, around the same time she reported him to one of her higher-ups. She reportedly writes that Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, which Fox settled for $20 million, both triggered an “intense campaign” from Ailes to enlist her in his defense and convinced her that she should speak up about his past behavior. “There was no way I was going to lie to protect him,” she writes. At that point, she says, she phoned 21st Century Fox co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch to inform him and the company’s attorney that Ailes had harassed her, too, and cooperated with the company’s independent investigation of Ailes.
These reported excerpts from Settle for More, due out November 15, align with previous reports that Kelly told investigators of Ailes’ alleged harassment after Carlson filed her suit, and that she warned Fox News executives four years ago that Ailes had harassed her and it could come back to haunt the company. They also mirror the dozens of other sexual-harassment allegations current and former Fox News employees have levied against Ailes and other men at the company.
Update, 4:15 p.m.: Ailes’ lawyer, Susan Estrich, released the following statement after Radar Online’s report was published: “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.”