Megyn Kelly on Fox News calls on NBC to allow outside investigation into Matt Lauer accusations
Ronan Farrow talks about his book, "Catch and Kill," which he says refers to seven complaints against former NBC "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer. USA TODAY
Megyn Kelly Wednesday called on NBC to authorize outside investigations into the handling of sexual misconduct accusations against "Today" show host Matt Lauer, who was fired in November 2017.
Kelly, 48, on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in her first interview since parting ways with her former network in January, addressed the Lauer controversy that was rekindled with this month's release of Ronan Farrow's book, "Catch and Kill."
Kelly said NBC's internal investigation, which concluded that network executives did not know about allegations of sexual misconduct against Lauer prior to November 2017, should be subjected to independent scrutiny from an outside law firm, as other networks have done in the face of misconduct allegations.
"The question is open to whether they put dollars ahead of decency. Were they more interested in protecting their star anchor over the women of the company?" said Kelly. "There needs to be an outside investigation in this company. They investigated themselves, that doesn’t work."
During the interview, Carlson showed a clip of Kelly recommending an outside investigation during her own hour of "Today." Kelly arrived at NBC in 2017 to great fanfare and a huge contract, but her show was canceled in October 2018 a few days after she defended the use of blackface for Halloween costumes as part of her show.
Farrow claims in "Catch and Kill" that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein threatened to expose Lauer if NBC ran Farrow's ongoing investigation into him, leading the network to halt the reporting. Farrow left NBC and published the bombshell Weinstein story months later in The New Yorker, later winning a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting.
NBC president Noah Oppenheim rejected Farrow's claims in a memo, writing that the story was held up because Farrow had "no victims or witnesses on the record" in the piece.
Responding to Oppenheim's account, Kelly Wednesday said: "If that’s true, and if there’s nothing to hide, get an outside investigator."
She added that NBC should release any complaints made against Lauer and any confidential settlements or payments made prior to the first public accusation.
"That’s what we need to know. They haven’t gotten specific about what money has been paid out to whom. Show us the money," said Kelly. "The No. 1 thing that needs to happen is they need to release any Matt Lauer accusers from confidentiality obligations. NBC says it has nothing to hide. Great. Let’s not hide anything."