After Gretchen Carlson filed her sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News chief Roger Ailes, some of the network’s biggest stars, including Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren, had stepped forward to defend their boss.
But Megyn Kelly kept quiet. ABC News reports Kelly “refused repeated overtures to issue a public statement of support,” leading Ailes his first hint “his career at the helm of the network he built was in jeopardy.”
The defense was run, ABC reports, from a war room inside Ailes’ home–with signing on Fox News talent to issue statements of support as one of the top priorities. “It was an unbelievable campaign,” one insider told ABC News. “There was enormous pressure.”
But Kelly–who reportedly told investigators she was harassed by Ailes 10 years previously–was not responding:
At the center of this year’s presidential campaign, Kelly was being asked, cajoled and even pressured outright to pledge her support for Ailes in the first days after sex-harassment claims were lodged, two sources said. And when Kelly declined to play along, a sense of doom quickly creeped over Ailes and his cabinet of advisers.
“And what about Megyn?” was the question asked inside Ailes’ war room. “There’s a problem with Megyn. Let’s talk offline.”
Kelly has not spoken publicly since Ailes stepped down, but a former Fox News reporter, Rudi Bakhtiar has, accusing Ailes and others at the network of harassment–and firing her when she complained.