'I knew the Charlie Rose thing was coming - and I'd heard rumors about Matt': Megyn Kelly reveals she'd heard about Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct after hailing his firing as a 'sign of progress'
- Kelly made the admission on Wednesday during an interview at a media event?
- She said she had no 'official knowledge' of Lauer's alleged misconduct but knew 'people were sniffing around the issue'?
- Kelly said she hoped the rumors weren't ?true and would not have been surprised if they weren't
- She is now NBC's highest paid host with an annual salary of $18million ?
- Earlier, she described Lauer's firing as a 'sign of progress' on her morning show?
- Lauer, 59, was fired on Wednesday morning after NBC executives received a 'detailed' complaint from an unnamed colleague on Monday?
- The woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by him as they worked together on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics?
- Bosses have revealed that they do not believe the alleged misconduct was an 'isolated incident'?
- Lauer has not responded to the claims but the scandal dominated the network's morning coverage?
Megyn Kelly has admitted hearing 'rumors' about Matt Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct before he was fired on Tuesday but said she hoped they 'weren't true'.?
The NBC host was speaking at Business Insider's IGNITION media event when she made the revelation on Wednesday, hours after addressing Lauer's shock firing on her own morning show.?
She denied having any 'official knowledge' of Lauer's alleged wrongdoing but said she knew reporters were 'sniffing' around 'the issue'.?
She also boasted about knowing ahead of time that CBS veteran journalist Charlie Rose was due to be exposed for alleged misconduct too.
'I didn't have any official knowledge but because of the work I do and the stories I cover and the connections I have in the industry, I have a general feel for - I knew the Charlie Rose thing was coming -?and I'd heard rumors about Matt but that's all they were.?
'My feeling on it was a?rumour is not the same as reportable fact.?I knew people were sniffing?around the issue and, you know, hoped it wasn't true,' she said.??
Lauer, 59, was fired on Tuesday night as a result of his alleged sexual assault of a colleague while they were working on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.?
News of his termination broke on Wednesday morning. ?
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Megyn Kelly said she'd heard rumors about Matt Lauer's alleged misconduct before he was fired on Tuesday as she spoke at the Business Insider IGNITION media event in New York?
It makes Kelly the network's highest paid host with her annual salary of $18million.??
Lauer was the highest paid morning host, earning $25million a year. Now Kelly Rippa of?Live With Kelly & Ryan holds the title with her annual reported salary of $22million.?
Since Lauer's firing was announced, both?The New York Times and Variety have since revealed they were working on in-depth pieces to expose him and suggested he had more accusers. ?
Rose was fired by CBS earlier this month after being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.?
Lauer's first accuser came forward on Monday night and gave 'compelling evidence' of her account, the source said.?
He was fired 24 hours later and his departure.?
At IGNITION, Kelly said she did not see it coming despite hearing 'rumors' of his alleged behavior.?
She said she would not have been surprised to learn that such rumors had transpired to be false.??
'I hear a lot of rumors about myself that are completely untrue.?
'When you're a public figure people do make things up?about you and put them out there in print, so I had no inside knowledge at all,' she said of Lauer's firing.??
She went on to discuss being sexually harassed herself at Fox and said it was the duty of powerful women to be a champion and confidante of those in lower-ranking positions who find themselves being victimized at work.
Kelly and Lauer in May this year after she was brought on by NBC from Fox. Lauer, an NBC veteran, was rumored to have been furious when she joined the network. With Lauer out of the way, Kelly is now NBC's highest-earning host with a salary of $18million?
'If?a woman came to me at NBC news and said this has happened to me,?a) I would advise her on what to do and b) I would work it behind the scenes?even if I had to go into the bosses office and say "here's a name, do some?investigating, I'm not going to tell you who reported it, I don't have to."?
'Powerful?women need to be there for less powerful women so that they can grow into powerful women,' she said.?
Kelly also said she knew veteran CBS journalist Charlie Rose was going to be hit by sexual harassment allegations before he was fired earlier this month?
News of Lauer's departure dominated the network's morning shows and Kelly, who was brought on in January from Fox, did not shy away from the topic.?
'This one does hit close to home. I, too, have known Matt for a long time. And he's been a friend and kind and supportive to me in my transition to NBC news.?
'And I see the anguish on my colleague's faces. But when this happens, what we don't see is the pain on the faces of those who found the courage to come forward.?
'And it is a terrifying thing to do,' she said.??
Kelly, 47, later harkened back to her time at Fox News, 'another news network where this happened' and vowed, like Guthrie and Kotb, to push on with their coverage of scandal despite their personal connections to it.???
'We don't see the career opportunities women lose because of sexual harassment or the intense stress it causes a woman dealing with it when she comes to work each day.?
'I am thinking of those women this morning and hoping they are okay.?The days to come will not be easy.
'We are in the middle of a sea change in this country.?
'An empowerment revolution, in which women, who for years felt they had no choice but to deal with being harassed at work, are now starting to picture another reality.?
'To feel that change is within their grasp.?
Kelly said she had hoped the rumors about Lauer were not true as she spoke at the event with Business Insider's Alyson Shantell, an appearance which was scheduled before Lauer was fired
Hours earlier, Kelly addressed Lauer's firing on her show where she described it as part of a 'sea change' and a 'sign of progress'
After the show, Kelly managed a coy smile as she dodged reporters' questions about the scandal. She is now NBC's highest paid star with a salary of $18million?
'As painful as this moment is, for so many here at NBC, today, at CBS earlier this month, at Fox News over the last year, in Hollywood this fall, it is a sign of progress, of women finding their voices, their courage and of the erosion of a shameful power imbalance that has been in place for far too long,' she said.
To finish, she harkened back to her time at Fox News - 'another news channel where this happened'.?
'A final note. I have been at another news channel where this happened, as you know. My experience is, a news organization is bigger than any one person.
NBC CHAIRMAN'S LETTER
On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,' wrote Lack in his letter.
'It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.
'Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.
'We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.'?
Andy Lack, NBC Chairman?
'They all face challenges. They all stumble. But the good ones stay standing and forge forward, fulfilling their core mission, journalism. We'll continue to stay on this story and bring you more as we know it. Until then, on with the news,' she said.?
Then came a deep breath and a brief glance away from the camera until she segwayed seamlessly into the next item on the agenda.?
Kelly joined NBC in January this year as Fox News's biggest names crumbled under accusations of sexual misconduct.?
She had worked there since 2004 and become one of the network's highest paid and most revered presenters.?
Lauer's termination was announced by NBC on Wednesday morning.?
His accuser has not been named.?
Her attorney spoke with The New York Times to confirm the timeline of events.?
'My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours.
'Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.?
'While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing,'?Ari Wilkenfeld, a civil rights lawyer with the firm Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson in Washington, said.?
In his letter, Lack said the network received a 'detailed' complaint about the alleged assault and that, upon review, they do not believe it was the only instance of alleged misconduct.?
In a statement on Wednesday, Today said: 'Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News.?
Lauer's Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb soldiered through their broadcast on Wednesday after learning of the news moments before going on air?
The pair embraced at the end of the show once the cameras were no longer rolling?
After filming, Hoda Kotb was visibly distressed as she left the set?
Lauer, 59, was the show's longest-serving co-anchor after joining in 1997. He was earning $25million a year from his role?
'On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer.?
'As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.'
Guthrie and Kotb, who went on air moments after learning of Lauer's termination, were understandably more stunned.?
'This is a sad morning here at Today and NBC News. We learned this moments ago, just this morning.??
'As you can imagine, we are devastated. And we are still processing all of this,' said Guthrie.
'I will tell you, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story, as reporters, as journalists.?
'I'm sure we'll learn more details in the hours and days to come. We promise to share that with you.'?
The shock trickled into Kathy Lee Gifford's appearance later. She used the scandal to compare Lauer to her cheating husband Frank.?
'It makes you question, was everything a lie?' she said. Gifford said she found solace in the Lord and urged others to turn to religion when confronted with hardships.?
Hoda, still reeling from the shock herself, held her hand in support.?
'Was everything a lie?' A tearful Kathy Lee Gifford compared Lauer's firing to learning that her late husband had been cheating on her?
Gifford was supported by co-host Hoda who held her hand as she described finding solace in God during difficult times. Both women acknowledged Lauer as a 'dear friend'?
Lauer was paid $25million-a-year and was the show's longest-running host, having been at its helm since 1997.?
He is married and has three children with his wife Annette but has long been known for his rumored womanizing. ?His wife and children live in East Hampton. ?
Details of the alleged misconduct have not yet been revealed beyond when it is said to have happened.?
An NBC source told Page Six on Wednesday that the woman complained on Monday night and that Lauer was fired 24 hours later as a result of the 'compelling evidence' she provided.
'This happened so quickly. She didn’t go to the media, she made a complaint to NBC’s human resources, and her evidence was so compelling that Matt was fired on Tuesday night.?
'The victim says she has evidence that this has also happened to other women, but so far we don’t have evidence of that,' they said.?
A rumored investigation by The New York Times into claims against Lauer is also said to have been in the works.??
CNN reports that several of the newspaper's reporters contacted NBC sources as part of the investigation in the weeks before Lauer's firing.?
Two Variety editors also claimed on Thursday that they had been working on a similar investigation and had spoken to 'multiple' women as part of it.?
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