Things That Matter

Roger Ailes Allegedly Asked Megyn Kelly To Twirl And She Said ‘God Help Me, I Did It’

There’s no denying that the new Jay Roach movie “Bombshell” is controversial. The film, which zooms in on the lead up to the events that led the women of Fox News to take down Roger Ailes. Already on the conveyor belt of Oscar’s buzz, the film’s depictions, of which includes a stand out performance by Charlize Theron as Megan Kelly, “Bombshell” is not without its disappointments.  The film works to promote a world in which Kelly is a tell-it-like-it-is journalist who puts powerful people in the hot seat– that is when Ailes is not at the helm. However it overlooks the ways in which the former host of The Kelly File used her prosecutorial experience to argue for racist conspiracy theories and cram down white ideals of Jesus and Santa. Miserably, it forgets, how in her years after her experiences at Fox, Kelly was ultimately pushed out of her position at ABC after defending the use of Blackface. 

The film, however, does do its part in lighting up the toxic work environment in which Roger Ailes promoted during his reign at Fox Network and which Kelly not only endured but ultimately her part in bringing him down from his thrown. Speaking out about her experiences with Ailes and her depiction in the film, Kelly recently sat down with a handful of other Ailes’ alleged victims for a roundtable discussion. 

The former Fox News anchor sat down with Aile’s alleged victim and talked about “Bombshell.”

‘Bombshell” / Lionsgate

In a video posted to her youtube channel, Kelly sat down for a roundtable interview with Juliet Huddy (former host of Fox News’ The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet), Rudi Bakhtiar (former Fox News reporter) and Julie Zann (former associate producer of Fox News Live). 

In a teaser clip of the interview, Kelly talks about  “the infamous spin inside of Ailes’ office” depicted in a scene starring Margot Robbie. In it, Ailes instructs Robbie’s character to “twirl” for him so that he can have a better look at her body. The scene is cringe-worthy and absolutely stomach-turning at best. The scene is reportedly an accurate depiction of a method Ailes would use to harass his employees. 

During her interview, Kelly asks the former Fox News hosts whether or not Ailes made them spin.

Most of the woman replied that he did, while the others say there were other forms of harassment. But when Kelly is asked by one of the women if she’d been told to do the twirl, the former ABC hosts replies  “I was asked to do the spin and God help me, I did. I know people think it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, you spin around.’ But 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 at 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.” “It was like, if you don’t get how demeaning that is, I can’t help you.”

Zann, Bakhtiar and Huddy all said that they had similar interactions with Ailes to the one depicted onscreen while they worked at Fox News. 

Speaking in the interview Huddy said, “he never did the twirl thing to me. He would just say, ‘Turn around and let me see your ass. You’re too skinny, gain some weight.’ That kind of stuff.”  Meanwhile, Zann recalled that she was “was asked to twirl, and I did it.” 

 Bakhtiar also admitted that Ailes had asked her “to get up and turn around, and I didn’t do it. I didn’t get up and turn around, but he did ask me.” 

Speaking about the culture of sexual harassment at Fox, each of the women explained that they had worked with Ailes because they were fearful of losing their positions.

“This was the way it worked, everyone would tell you, ‘Don’t complain about sexual harassment because you’ll lose your job,’ ” Bakhtiar said in her trailer.

Last month, in response to the trailer, Kelly admitted the release of the film was particularly emotional for her. 

“Watching this picture was an incredibly emotional experience for me, and for those with whom I saw it,” Kelly wrote on Instagram “Sexual harassment is pervasive in this country; it can leave scars that do not heal. My heart goes out to those who’ve gone through it, who I hope might find some comfort in this story.” 

Watch the full trailer for “Bombshell” starring Charlize Theron here.

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