Megyn Kelly revealed how exactly she scored the first interview with Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, slated to air on The Kelly File on Wednesday, June 3, in the wake of their son Josh's molestation controversy.
"I reached out to them and made the case I was the best for the job," the Fox News anchor told Deadline. "I specifically told their representative, 'You know my reputation. I’ve never been accused of giving anyone a pass, and I’m not going to give them a pass. If you want a soft place to fall, I’m not your person… I think it’s a service to you to have me ask tough questions.'"
Kelly, 44, told The Wrap on Wednesday that her intentions were probably what prompted the Duggars to go with her. "When I spoke with the Duggar family, I said, 'I am going to ask you the tough questions,'" the journalist noted, adding that she's never previously interacted with the Duggar family. "'But I will be fair, and you will be permitted to answer and offer context. And it will not be a 'gotcha' or an attempt to bring down the Duggars … That is not my role."
The Fox News host told Deadline that this interview is an opportunity for the reality TV stars to air their dark family secrets and move forward. "I think this is the Duggars’ effort to try to get out from under that pressure cooker," she told the site. "They very much understand their show and reputation are on the line... I think they knew they needed to speak to somebody and get their story out."
Kelly reasoned why political candidates and the Duggars alike have agreed to appear on her program as opposed to sit-downs with other high-profile journalists. "People want to be on this show, both because of the number of viewers and the platform," the Fox News host mused to Deadline. "But also because I think they know by now that they’ll be treated fairly by me. They won’t get a pass. Tough but fair is my approach — and hopefully smart."
In the wake of the controversy, TLC has pulled episodes of its wildly popular 19 Kids and Counting —but has yet to cancel the show entirely. While the fate of the reality series remains unknown, Kelly told Deadline that she believes 19 Kids "has a chance still. It's not totally done."
She added to The Wrap: "I don’t know what TLC will decide, because it’s a big money-maker for them and it’s only getting more popular... This case is more complicated than at first it appears."
Kelly's interview is the first time Josh Duggar's parents will speak out publicly after releasing statements on their family's official Facebook page addressing the molestation allegations. On their website, the parents of 19 kids previewed what to expect.
"We will sit down with Megyn Kelly on Fox News to share our hearts with you about the pain that we walked through as a family twelve years ago, the tears we all shed and the forgiveness that was given," they noted. "We appreciate the outpouring of love and prayers for our family at this time."
Kelly's interview with the Duggars will air on Fox News' The Kelly File on Wednesday, June 3, at 9 p.m. ET.
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