Few could anticipate that Kelly’s commitment would eventually cross paths with an adjacent Today scandal: Matt Lauer.
Shortly after NBC fired 60-year-old Lauer in November for sexual misconduct, the former Fox News host brought one-time Today production assistant Addie Zinone on her show to discuss a sexual relationship Zinone had with Lauer when she was 24.
When asked during a sit down with Us Weekly if she thought her former Today cohost could come back in the public eye after his fall from grace Kelly, 47, said she would not comment and only added, “I know too much that others don’t know.”
For those wondering if the outspoken mom of three had ever received internal pushback for doing a segment that might rock the boat too much, she again replied with a “no comment.”
As for whether she received any negative feedback for featuring Zinone on her hour of the Today lineup? “All I’m going to say is that I feel very strongly about the #MeToo coverage, the importance of doing it without fear or favor,” the TV personality said. “I didn’t let anyone stop me at Fox, and I’m not going to let anyone stop me at NBC.”
Kelly, who previously had spoken out about harassment she endured while employed by former Fox boss Roger Ailes, then explained that she thinks some men who commit sexual misconduct could “potentially” have second chances in the public eye. “I feel it’s a case-by-case basis,” she explained. “I don’t think we need to see Harvey Weinstein in polite society ever again, but I don’t think that’s true of everyone. I think, for some of these guys, there’s a way forward. I happen to believe it starts with a full-throated apology, and not just this paper statement of, ‘I did some things wrong and I’m sorry.’”
The former host of The Kelly File continued: “I think what women want to see is actual learning and evolution. The actual taking of responsibility, and a real reckoning with what they did and how it affected women’s lives. I think Americans are very forgiving, and I am very forgiving.”
“I think these guys who want to completely skirt around it and just reappear and re-emerge in their old roles are kidding themselves,” she added. “Women are feeling too empowered to allow that. They don’t want to just see punishment, they want to see that you get it. And the ones that we’ve covered publicly had immense positions of power, so they absolutely should not be allowed to return to those until we understand there’s been a sea change in their thinking and behavior.”
As for whether she’s been in touch with her former cohost Lauer since her segment on Zinone and the disgraced Today show host’s relationship, Kelly insisted, “not at all.”
For more of Kelly’s thoughts on her first year of hosting Megyn Kelly Today, her relationships with her other Today cohosts, and insight on her life at home as mom to three kids, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.
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