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Megyn Kelly will not return to NBC’s ‘Today’ show following blackface controversy

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Megyn Kelly’s hour of “Today” was canceled amidst the host’s controversial comments about blackface.

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Megyn Kelly’s “Today” show run at NBC is over after a tumultuous week that began when she defended blackface Halloween costumes on Tuesday, causing massive backlash that led her to apologize the next day.

“’Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning,” an NBC spokesperson told USA TODAY. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”
While the network made it clear her time at the “Today” show was over, her future at the network remains uncertain.

Attorney Bryan Freedman, who represents Kelly, told the Associated Press Friday afternoon that she remains an employee of NBC News and negotiations about “next steps” are ongoing.

USA TODAY has reached out to NBC for additional information.

Earlier Friday, NBC News reporter Morgan Radford said during the “Today” show: “This morning, NBC News host Megyn Kelly is in talks with the network about her imminent departure.”

And although her former colleagues at Fox News have expressed support for her, the network itself indicated it is not inclined to make room for her, saying it is “very happy” with its prime-time lineup.

More: NBC reports Kelly is negotiating her exit from network; would Fox take her back?

Kelly, 47, came to NBC News after a decade at Fox News, lured by a contract estimated to be worth $20 million per year. “Megyn Kelly Today” debuted in September 2017. Since then, her hour of the network’s tent-pole “Today” franchise has been marred by controversy, from eyebrow-raising statements she made on the air to her lackluster ratings.

On Kelly’s watch, ratings the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” shed 400,000 viewers, or 13 percent of its audience, compared to when the show was previously hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall. Even more disconcerting for the network’s most valuable franchise, her numbers were down 25 percent with viewers aged 25-54, the traditional demographic for TV news.

She largely floundered with her soft-news focus and a pair of awkward and hostile interviews with Hollywood figures Jane Fonda and Debra Messing backfired with bad publicity. Kelly briefly found more of a purpose with the eruption of the #MeToo movement.

What did Megyn Kelly say?! 4 other times the journalist stirred up controversy

The final straw for Kelly on the NBC show came on Tuesday when, during a round-table discussion, she seemingly defended “blackface” and “white face” for Halloween because it was “OK when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character.”

At the top of Wednesday’s show, she said, “I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry. You may have heard that yesterday we had a conversation about political correctness and Halloween costumes. … I defended the idea (of blackface), saying that as long it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, that it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry.”

The apology was not enough to keep the show afloat.

A rerun of Kelly’s Aug. 31 episode aired in place of a live show on Thursday, signaling the news of her departure was imminent.

The same day Kelly apologized, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack addressed the controversy during a town hall with staffers, according to transcripts obtained by Variety and The Daily Beast. The meeting was scheduled before this week’s events.

“I assume all of you by now have seen the remarks that (Megyn Kelly) made on her show yesterday about Halloween and blackface. There is no other way to put this but I condemn those remarks, there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them. Very unfortunate,” Lack said.

He continued: “As we go forward, my highest priority remains, and as we sort through this with Megyn, let there be no doubt that this is a workplace in which you need to be proud and in which we respect each other in all the ways we know is foundational to who we are.”

Earlier, her African-American colleagues called her out her during Wednesday’s episode of “Today.”

“There was criticism online yesterday that this was political correctness run amuck. That’s silly and it’s disingenuous and it’s just as ignorant and racist as the statement itself,” said “Today” co-host Craig Melvin, who still described Kelly as a friend and colleague. “She said something stupid, she said something indefensible.”

“The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the county,” said Al Roker, the longest-tenured host on “Today.”This is a history, going back to the 1830s (with) minstrel shows. To demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right. I’m old enough to have lived through ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters just magnifying the stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is. … No good comes from it. It’s just not right.”

Contributing: Leora Arnowitz, Gary Levin, The Associated Press

On October 26, NBC canceled “Megyn Kelly Today,” putting an end to the former Fox anchor’s yearlong foray into morning television. Nathan Congleton/NBC The cancellation came three days after Kelly’s Oct. 23 show, in which she said that blackface Halloween costumes were acceptable when she was young as long as they were respectful. The next morning, she apologized on air, saying, “I was wrong and I am sorry. She added, “It is not OK for (blackface) to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise.” But the apology was not enough to save her show. Nathan Congleton/NBC Over the course of her year on “Today,” Kelly devoted significant airtime to the #MeToo movement, interviewing women who accused famous men of sexual misconduct, including former franchise anchor Matt Lauer. Here, she speaks with Addie Zinone, a former production assistant who says she had a sexual relationship with the host during her time on the show. Nathan Congleton/NBC Speaking of Lauer, Kelly made waves in early October 2018 when she said that she discounted the idea of him making a successful comeback after he was fired for sexual misconduct on the job. “I know too much that others don’t know,” she said cryptically. ANGELA WEISS, AFP/Getty Images In that same interview with Us Weekly, Kelly said she regretted one moment from her first year at NBC: her September 2017 interview with Jane Fonda. When she asked the actress about plastic surgery, Fonda shot back, “We want to talk about that now?” Kelly still believes it had more to do with her former employer: “I think the issue was somebody who used to work at Fox News was asking it of her that particular day. There’s nothing I can do about that. I know some people don’t like Fox News, and some people don’t like me and that’s OK.” AP Kelly is seen in the lead-up to her final presidential election at Fox News in November 2016. The following January, she announced that she would join rival NBC News. Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Megyn Kelly in New York May 5, 2016. “Settle for More,” her new book is scheduled to be released Nov. 15, 2016. Victoria Will, AP Kelly Ripa with guest co-host, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly during the production of “LIVE Kelly” in New York Nov. 9, 2016. Pawel Kaminski, Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution via AP Katie Couric interivews Megyn Kelly at Tina Brown’s 7th Annual Women In The World Summit Opening Night in New York City April 6, 2016. Jemal Countess, Getty Images In January 2016, Kelly moderated the Republican presidential primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Chris Carlson, AP Kelly is flanked by Fox News debate moderators Chris Wallace, left, and Bret Baier as they prepare for the start of the GOP debate in January in Des Moines, just before the Iowa caucuses. JIM LO SCALZO, EPA Kelly mingled with the Hollywood liberal elite at the 2016 ‘Vanity Fair’ Oscar Party on Feb. 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills. Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images Kelly appeared at Tina Brown’s 7th Annual Women In The World Summit, where she was interviewed at Lincoln Center by Katie Couric, on April 6, 2016 in New York. Jemal Countess, Getty Images Kelly and husband Douglas Brunt glittered at the 102nd White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Larry Busacca, Getty Images In April, Kelly walked the red carpet before attending ‘Variety’s Power of Women: New York, at Cipriani Midtown in 2016. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP She took on more Barbara Walters-style interviews with the May special ‘Megyn Kelly Presents.’ Eric Liebowitz, FOX Kelly posed at the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Frazer Harrison, Getty Images In June 2015, Kelly made news when she interviewed the then-scandal-plagued Duggar family (of ’19 Kids and Counting’ fame) that aired on Fox over two nights. AP Kelly, seen here in 2015, was already a rising star at Fox prior to the first GOP primary debate. Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Kelly and Donald Trump first clashed on air when he took offense at her question about his attitudes toward women, at the first GOP presidential primary debate in Cleveland in August 2015. Trump later criticized Kelly as a “lightweight” and biased and threatened to boycott future debates. He eventually suggested her pointed questions for him were the result of her monthly period. John Minchillo, AP Trump later agreed to appear with Kelly on ‘Megyn Kelly Presents’ on May 17, 2016, when their encounter was significantly less heated. Eric Liebowitz, FOX In April 2015, Kelly attended a New York event honoring the ‘Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People In Media. Neilson Barnard, Getty Images Kelly was one of the media figures honored by ‘The Hollywood Reporter.’ Evan Agostini, Invision for The Hollywood Reporter Kelly interviewed Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, on ‘The Kelly File’ on Fox News on April 9, 2014. Frank Franklin II, AP Kelly took part in the ‘Time’ 100 gala celebrating the magazine’s annual list of most influential people in April 2014. JUSTIN LANE, EPA Kelly strikes a pose at the ‘Variety’ Power Of Women: New York on April 25, 2014. Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images for Variety Kelly is seen rehearsing for her debut at host of Fox News’ ‘The Kelly File’ on Oct. 4, 2013 in New York. Her program was the linchpin in first overhaul of Fox’s prime-time lineup since 2002. Richard Drew, AP Kelly and Bret Baier anchored Fox’s coverage of the GOP convention from Tampa, Fla., in August 2012. It was during this broadcast that Kelly questioned GOP strategist Karl Rove’s reluctance to call the race in Ohio. “Is this math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?” she asked. Alex Kroke, AP Prior to her prime-time promotion, Kelly hosted ‘America Live.’ Here she is hosting the show in 2010. Fox News

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Megyn Kelly Makes Meandering Comeback Bid on Fox News (Column)

Megyn Kelly made the first steps toward a TV comeback on Wednesday night, appearing on Fox News, the network that brought her to prominence, to decry NBC, the network from which she parted ways last year. It was a booking that had everything that has made Kelly a compelling figure for years — a sense that the fight was deeply personalized even as Kelly appealed to a higher set of values, a certain glee in the cut-and-thrust of argument and a positioning of Kelly herself as separate and apart from colleagues in the media.

And yet some fundamental charisma seemed gone. Kelly, a star on Fox whose NBC morning hour failed to suit her prosecutorial zeal, ought to know how to do this. Interviewed by a host as fundamentally congenial to his ideological allies as Tucker Carlson, Kelly was presented softball after softball about NBC’s mishandling of the Harvey Weinstein story — a story recounted in Ronan Farrow’s new book that happened to be unfolding while Kelly, who’d previously been near the center of the Roger Ailes sexual harassment inquiry, was in the building. And yet she was at times uncharacteristically tongue-tied. Speaking with care about an employer from whom she’d had a contentious split (saying, for instance, that “the question is open as to whether they put dollars ahead of decency”), Kelly seemed to be stopping short; in issuing a terse “no comment” to a provocative question implying she’d been let go from NBC for being outspoken, she made herself clear.

But it was a point that seemed to demand amplification, given other details for her departure (which occurred after she defended blackface on-air); elsewhere, she tried to position herself very near the center of the NBC story, saying she was “getting to the bottom of what NBC knew” while there — something that strained credulity if only because Kelly had so little even in the way of unique insight to show for it. There was, often, the sense of things being held in reserve. Perhaps if Kelly is to tell what she sees as the real and complete story of her time at NBC, it’ll happen on her own time and her own platform.

But that platform seemed at times further away, no matter that, at interview’s end, Kelly said she’d be looking for new opportunities: “I’ll get back on that horse soon, because this has been fun.” Fun is in the eye of the beholder, perhaps. Historically, Kelly’s temperament had run toward the icy as she took apart whomever was that day’s opponent; the colder things got, the more fun was being had. (This, notably, is why then-candidate Donald Trump’s assessment of Kelly as fueled by rage was not just misogynistic but fundamentally untrue; her questioning of him in a 2015 debate had the typical Kelly sangfroid.) Here, though, Kelly seemed uncertain of herself and where she was going: Allowed to rove freely by Carlson’s limp questioning, she ranged over, say, NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim’s college writings about women and assault, before allowing that college students often say indefensible things. Having one big point to make — that ought to bring in an outside investigator, an argument it hardly took a former anchor on their air to carry across — and having clearly made it, there was almost too much room to maneuver.

On NBC, Kelly had been hemmed in not merely by a corporate culture she now speaks out against, but also by smaller but more visible things: Format, a desire to broadly reach an audience. She made the choice, then, to attempt to downshift the content and the tone of her broadcast, working to speak on other topics (she eventually faltered, obviously) and to speak in a tone a bit further from the courtroom. The trouble, now, may be that after that experience and after a year off the air, Kelly is out of practice. Guided in for a landing by Carlson, Kelly addressed the unique and special qualities of Fox as a broadcaster, noting that it was a place that, since its inception, had believed that, “If you did fair and balanced news, the people would watch.” (Her specific mention of Fox’s creation in 1996 called to mind the recent departure of anchor Shep Smith, who’d been there since the beginning and who quit after his evenhanded reporting grew controversial.) Elsewhere in the media, she said, “there was a baked-in bias against people who believe in home-schooling, who believe in a pro-life position, who might have a gun”; the rest of the mainstream media, in her telling, has now mobilized against Trump and his supporters.

It was unpleasantly transparent even for a host whose moves in the past — framing herself first as the most equanimous at Fox, then as the sunniest of all NBC, then as someone not fired but granted an opportunity to speak out — had had a certain clomping unsubtlety. More groaning still, was, when asked what she’d learned, Kelly’s response was, “Just as awful as the media can be, actual humans are awesome.” Kelly’s adversaries nowadays are members of the media; so, too, is Farrow, whose reporting she frames herself as having been right behind as she chased the story at NBC; so is Kelly herself, or so she was and might be again. That her pathway there is using an experience she can barely discuss to open a broader argument against the media as the whole is an unpleasant reminder of the era of Kelly’s dominance, one in which her savvy reigned over any core belief.

Maybe, though, that savvy’s a bit rusty, too. Before she said she’d learned that real people are better than the media, Kelly joked that she’d learned nothing. “I’m like Woody Allen!” she said. It was a weird and off-tone gag for a TV personality commenting on the reporting of Allen’s son, who’s been open about his belief that Allen molested his sister. Maybe she’s forgotten what she once knew about TV. Or, maybe, in making the sort of comment that will attract writers to say that Kelly is insensitive and just plain odd, Kelly is showing that, learning or no, she’s at least remembered how to play the provocateur. The question as to whether or not TV needs another such chaos agent will be answered soon enough.

Megyn Kelly goes home to Fox News — and trashes NBC News over Matt Lauer

Megyn Kelly has a few questions and a few suggestions. And they’re directed at her former employer, NBC News.

The former Fox News host returned Wednesday to her star-making network for her first interview since she and the peacock network parted ways in January.

Kelly operated at full blast on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” saying she wanted to know “what they knew and when they knew it” about Lauer and the women of NBC News.

“Here’s what they’re saying: no settlements of any kind. That’s a legal sleight of hand,” said the news anchor, who previously worked as an attorney. “You can get paid out as a sexual harassment victim in something other than a settlement. You can get what’s called ‘enhanced severance.’ That’s the situation where the receptionist is suddenly getting a seven-figure goodbye. ‘She was like an amazing typist!’”

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Kelly offered a course of action for the beleaguered news department.

On-air and off-, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly avoids the frills and goes for well-tailored classics.

“They need to release any and all Matt Lauer accusers from their confidentiality agreements. NBC says it has nothing to hide — great! Let’s not hide anything,” she said, urging NBC News to release all the details on anything that looked like a settlement.

About NBC News President Noah Oppenheim’s journalistic trustworthiness and job security, Kelly declined to comment. She parried with another query.

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“The question is open as to whether they put dollars ahead of decency,” she said. “About whether they were more interested in protecting their star anchor than they were in protecting the women of the company. There needs to be an outside investigation into this company. They investigated themselves. That doesn’t work.”

As comfortable as Kelly seemed on Carlson’s show, Fox has said her visit was just that: a visit.

“Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming guest appearance was coordinated weeks ago and is a one-time occurrence,” the representative said in a statement Monday. “Any future programming changes we are considering do not involve her.”

Hollywood has never been kind to its young. It is an industry that famously venerates youth and, infamously, has casually destroyed so many young people, used them up then discarded them, that to list them all would fill this entire article. The film business loves to look at young people, but has less than zero interest in looking after them. Some are destroyed over a long period, such as Judy Garland, some barely have time to draw breath, such as River Phoenix. And then are the other less sensational but no less instructive stories of the young people whose hopes were raised by the industry, but find themselves whimsically discarded.

At the start of this century, Thora Birch was one of Hollywood’s most credible young actors. She transitioned nicely from cute kid actor (as Harrison Ford’s daughter in 1994’s Clear and Present Danger) to interesting child star (in 1999’s American Beauty) to delightful indie darling (2001’s Ghost World). Then she disappeared, and no one seemed to know where or why.

Last week, I found her in the incongruous setting of a grimly formal restaurant in west Hollywood, where tablefuls of seventysomethings ordered fillet steak while, outside, LA was baking hot. Waiting for me in the entrance, Birch looked utterly unchanged, in layers of dark clothes, with mussed hair and smears of blue eyeshadow across her lids.

“It’s been a while since I talked to anyone as cool as the Guardian,” she says as we sit down, with an emphasis that shifts uncertainly between irony and self-deprecation. This statement seems ridiculous (on multiple levels). In 2001, Birch was nominated for a best actress Golden Globe. We happen to meet two days after this year’s Golden Globes and she is, she mutters at one point, “currently looking for an agent”. How this happened is not straightforward and it is not really clear if Birch understands it herself, or how she feels about it. Contradictions pepper her conversation. Initially, she talks about how she “decided to take a break and live my life, branch out a little, educate myself”. But when I make the mistake of suggesting she “stepped back”, she snaps: “It makes me angry when you use that phrase because I didn’t step back. I was always working, it’s just that no one was paying attention.” At times, she has the dazed but anxious air of someone who has just emerged from a long sleep and is astonished at how much time has passed.

Thora Birch (right) with Scarlett Johansson in the 2001 film Ghost World.

In her heyday, Birch was a lovely, natural presence on screen, the foil to her glamour-puss contemporaries, such as Mena Suvari (who also, less surprisingly, faded away) and Scarlett Johansson (who did not). She often seemed pleasingly detached from the Hollywood fluff machine, making a begrudging smile on the red carpet.

“I tried to walk a fine line between being alluring and somewhat glamorous but maintain a strong identity and pursue things that were a little more thoughtful, and I guess nobody really wanted women to do that at that time,” she says.

Did she feel people were trying to make her into something she wasn’t? “I just felt like I was making people angry, because I wouldn’t wear the frilly bows. I just didn’t take advice and I think people got pissed off at me for not taking advice.”

Did she struggle with the glamour that her industry demanded of her as she transitioned from being a child star? She pauses for a full minute. “I struggled with reconciling that there was a reason for all that. I found it distasteful. So yeah, I had that kind of ‘oh, piss off, everyone’ attitude.”

In the late 90s and 2000 the cool young female actors on screen were pretty, but in a grungy, even self-effacing way, and they looked as if they would rather eat their ankle-length skirts than have a blow dry: Juliette Lewis, Julia Stiles, Leelee Sobieski, Winona Ryder. As Birch grew from child to adult actor, she fitted into this trend perfectly. But by the early noughties, a very different look was emerging for young female celebrities, one based more on Paris Hilton than Kurt Cobain. You only have to look at Ghost World to see what options were available to young women in Hollywood at the time: they could glam up and be A-list sex symbols, like Johansson, or they could refuse to wear the frilly bows and disappear, like Birch.

How does it feel when she looks at Johansson’s career, considering she accepted all the things Birch rejected?

Birch screws up her face: “I don’t know. Look at her. Whatever,” she says in a “like duh” tone. “I still love her, we were kids together …”

Another factor in Birch’s disillusion with Hollywood was that she was a witness to its casualties, having worked with Brittany Murphy and Brad Renfro.

“I’d seen Brittany here and there before and thought she was cute and lovely and all that stuff. But when I worked with her I saw the condition” – she twirls her finger next to her head – “and I thought, that can’t be good.”

As for poor Renfro, who died at 25 from a heroin overdose in 2008, Birch says she was “shattered by the state of him” when they made Ghost World: “I wish I’d said something, like: isn’t there something that should be done, other than a guardian who is not a guardian …” In neither case, she says, was she surprised when she heard about Murphy and Renfro’s deaths “and that was another problem for me”.

Thora Birch with Wes Bentley in the 1999 film American Beauty. Photograph: Sportsphoto/Allstar/Cinetext Collection

Birch was born and brought up in Los Angeles, just a few blocks from where we meet. She started acting in adverts when she was four, and loved it, despite her parents’ wariness. They themselves had worked in porn films, including Deep Throat, but a question about whether their experience in the film industry made them anxious for her causes Birch’s internal shutters to slam protectively down: “I don’t know. I refuse to talk to them about any of that.”

They named their daughter after Thor the Norse god (and their son Bolt, presumably after lightning), and it is a good name for her: Birch is not afraid of roaring. She has, she agrees, always been “mouthy”, by which she means she is engaged and vocal. When she talks about the way legislation works in America, she nearly cries with frustration, and her blog is full of passionate outrage over current events. But this sense of engagement has not always made her easy to work with: when she was just 14, she was fired from the Alexander Payne film Election because “I read the script one way and it became clear that had seen something else, so that was it. I just thought, this is ridiculous: why is it written this way?”

In 2010, she was fired from the off-Broadway theatrical revival of Dracula after it was alleged that Birch’s father, Jack, her manager and a frequent presence at his daughter’s rehearsals, had physically threatened one of the other actors. Birch said at the time that she was “in a state of shock”. When I ask Birch about it now, she looks down in silence. Then she says: “I pissed a lot of people off over a long period of time and they found a way to upset me, hoping that upset would bring a change in my behaviour. Like a distancing … But I’m done, I’m done. People wanted me to be not fine. A lot of it was bullshit.”

Has she felt that for a long time that people are trying to get her, that they’re angry with her?

“Yeah, definitely.”

Why are they angry?

“Because I should just shut up.”

Because she’s a young woman? Because she’s an actor?

“All of it.”

Talking with Birch is a little like trying to stand one’s ground during a minor earth tremor: just when I think I’ve found my footing, her rhythm changes as she switches between bolshy self-confidence and nervy insecurity. Her tone can alter from thoughtful to defensive aggression to sarcastic sing-song in the space of a few minutes. But the overall effect is of a person who has been somewhat battered by setbacks and feels the need more than ever to prove herself. She is right: she never stopped working, but in things that never flew. Since Ghost World she has made several TV movies, the John Sayles film Silver City, which could have been successful, and produced a film, Petunia, “which got in, like, two cinemas”. The truth is, what happened to Thora Birch was a bit of bad timing, a bit of bad luck and the accruing of a bit of a bad reputation. Ultimately, she just stopped fitting in. But considering how weary she is of the industry’s foibles, it surprises me that she is keen to get back into it: currently trying to get a screenplay produced and to work again in films “people actually watch”.

Does she feel bruised from past experiences? “No, more from the present state. Because I’m not going to sit here and act like everything’s glorious and wonderful.” She pauses, changes her mind and then leans closer to me and says more insistently: “Even though I do kinda feel like that. Like with my life? I’m really lucky! I’m just cognisant that I wanna move forward, and people will let me or not, who knows.”

Michelle Carter is back in the spotlight. Remember her? The teenage girl whose legal trial captivated the country and inspired the HBO documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter.

Let me refresh your memory. In 2017, when Carter was 17 years old, she faced charges of involuntary manslaughter for the role she played in the suicide of her then-boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III. At the time of Roy’s death on July 12, 2014, Carter was at her home miles away, but prosecutors argued her texts and phone calls encouraged Roy to take his own life.

Ultimately, the case centered on the legal question of whether an individual’s words could hold him or her responsible for another’s resulting actions. As it turns out, they can—at least in Carter’s case. Today, Michelle Carter is in prison for her part in Roy’s death, per NBC News. Here’s everything you need to know about the now 23-year-old felon.

Carter’s appeal was just denied by the Supreme Court.

Shortly after she was sentenced to 15 months for the suicide of Conrad Roy, Carter’s legal team filed an appeal. Her lawyer, Joesph P Cataldo, argued that Carter’s actions were protected as free speech under the First Amendment.

But apparently, the high court doesn’t agree. According to NBC News, Carter’s appeal was added to a list on Monday titled “Certiorari Denied.” Translation: The Supreme Court is refusing to even hear the case. Cataldo called the Supreme Court’s decision “unfortunate” in an email to the Boston Herald.

The Supreme Court’s decision comes just four months after Carter’s request for early parole was also denied, according to Mercury News.

But this doesn’t mean Carter isn’t close to a release date.

The Supreme Court’s decision means that Carter’s conviction—which is guilty, btw—will stand. But it turns out that she is actually supposed to be released from jail this month. According to MassLive, Carter will be released on January 23, per the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

Jonathan Darling, a spokesman for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, spoke to MassLive about Carter’s behavior while in prison. “We’ve had no problems with her at all,” Darling said. “She attended programs, is getting along with other inmates and is polite to our staff.”

Watch this to learn more about Carter’s impending release from prison:

Before Carter was imprisoned, she was a teenager who claimed to be in love.

Carter met Roy in 2012 while on vacation with their families in Florida. Both had struggled with their mental health, and both had attended therapy and counseling, according to The Cut.

The pair lived about an hour apart from each other in Massachusetts, and much of their long-distance relationship consisted of phone calls, emails, and texts.

It was the texts and, more importantly, phone calls between Carter and Roy that led to her indictment for involuntary manslaughter in February 2015, per MassLive. Carter’s lawyers battled for over a year for the charges to be dismissed, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled the state could move forward. The case went to trial—with Carter pleading not guilty—in June 2017.

During Carter’s defense, a psychiatrist testified that her actions were a result of “involuntary intoxication” from prescription antidepressants:

During the trial, Carter’s text history with Roy seemed like it would be the most damaging evidence against her.

While messages showed that she’d previously encouraged Roy to try professional therapy again, during the weeks leading up to Roy’s eventual death, she discussed suicide, laid out for him how he should do it, and, according to prosecutors, asked him when he was going to kill himself more than 40 times.

“Its probably the best time now because everyone’s sleeping,” she wrote to him, per court documents. “Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time…If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it.”

But it was a phone call that sealed Carter’s fate.

On the night that Roy died in a Kmart parking lot by inhaling carbon monoxide produced by a water pump in his truck, Carter was in almost constant contact with Roy and “talked him out of his doubts point by point,” prosecutors argued. The turning point came when Roy got out of his truck and called Carter—she allegedly urged him to get back in.

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The phone call was never recorded, so it’s unknown whether that conversation transpired the way Carter later claimed it had.

Still, in texts to her friends, she acknowledged the role she played in Roy’s death. “I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay, I was talking to him on the phone when he did it I could have easily stopped him or called the police but I didn’t,” she wrote to her friend Sam Boardman, according to court documents.

Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz found Carter guilty and sentenced her to two and a half years in prison—but she will serve a reduced 15-month prison term. In his ruling, Moniz said Carter’s specific instruction to Roy allegedly telling him to return to his car on the night of his death constituted “wanton and reckless conduct.” He further noted that she alerted neither Roy’s family nor local authorities to his actions even though she knew Roy intended to take his own life.

Despite the guilty verdict, Carter didn’t immediately go to prison.

She was allowed to remain out on bail during the initial appeals process, but, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled not to overturn her conviction on February 6, 2019, Moniz ordered Carter—now 22—to begin her sentence at the Bristol County Jail and House of Correction. Carter’s lawyers have vowed to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Just before Carter appeared in court in February, Roy’s aunt Becki Maki told the media there were “no winners” in this case, according to NBC News.

“It’s a tragedy,” she said. “And we just want an end to it.”

That end may come when Carter finishes serving her sentence in May 2020, or, if her lawyers succeed in their appeal, the case may be reopened. Regardless of the outcome, Michelle Carter’s trial is sure to be reexamined by the public after the new HBO documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter—featuring new interviews from Roy’s family and Carter’s lawyers—premieres on July 9.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Alexis Jones Assistant Editor Alexis Jones is an assistant editor at Women’s Health where she writes across several verticals on WomensHealthmag.com, including life, health, sex and love, relationships and fitness, while also contributing to the print magazine.

Megyn Kelly Knows Donald Trump’s Hair Is Real Because She ‘Ran Her Hands Through It’

In news that no one really ever needed know, but will now undoubtedly be unable to forget, Megyn Kelly has confirmed that Donald Trump‘s notorious mane is indeed real — because she ran her hands through it.

Although the two traded words for months, Kelly unexpectedly defended the presumptive GOP nominee’s look during a Watch What Happens Live appearance the day before her much-anticipated interview with Trump.

Kelly told host Andy Cohen that Trump’s trademark bouffant hairdo was bona fide, sharing, “I would say the hair is real. I have laid hands on it personally. That is not a wig, and it’s not a combover, either.” The Fox News host even elaborated that she got hands-on when it came to verifying his hair’s authenticity.

“I have run my fingers through it. We used to get along!” Kelly said. “I stuck my hands under there, I shoved my hands up in that hair, and that’s real.”

Watch the full clip of Kelly on Watch What Happens Live below.

Write to Cady Lang at [email protected]

Megyn Kelly has been ousted from the “Today” show, and possibly from NBC, the Daily Mail and other outlets are reporting, two days after becoming the object of national scorn, including by her NBC colleagues, for defending the use of blackface in Halloween costumes.

“Megyn Kelly is done. She is not ever coming back,” an NBC executive with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Mail Thursday.

“We are just working out timing of the announcement but mark my word – she is gone and will never be seen on NBC live again,” the source added.

Page Six also confirmed Kelly’s ouster from the network, and TMZ reported that the former Fox News host won’t be back on NBC, “barring a major miracle.” Sources connected to the network told TMZ that unless a proverbial Hail Mary is thrown, “Megyn is gone for good.”

People, however, said that Kelly has not been fired form NBC completely, but that her show “is mostly over.”

If Kelly has been let go from the network, the matter becomes complicated because she has a three-year, $69 million contract with NBC. Even more complicated, the executive told The Daily Mail, is that “her deal is a non-break deal,” meaning she walks away with “all that money.”

An NBC spokesperson declined to comment.

The Daily Mail, citing an insider, said there also were “tentative conversations” about Kelly returning to Fox News, whose viewers would be more amenable to her self-described tendency to be politically incorrect. Kelly didn’t have many allies when she left Fox News, but perhaps more than she does now at NBC, the Daily Mail added.

Kelly didn’t host her “Today” segment Thursday morning, with NBC playing a repeat episode.

“Given the circumstances, Megyn Kelly Today will be on tape the rest of the week,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Us Weekly, Page Six and other outlets.

The end of Kelly’s 9 a.m. hour of “Today” had appeared imminent in the wake of her latest controversial statements, Us Weekly added. During Tuesday’s edition of her show, the former Fox News host seemingly defended the use of blackface in Halloween costumes.

The 47-year-old TV personality issued two apologies on Tuesday and Wednesday. She wrote an email to NBC staffers, saying that “listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views.”

Kelly then opened Wednesday’s show by saying “I’m sorry” and then acknowledging that she has never been “a PC person.” She also said, “The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense.”

But for the past 24 hours, it has been open to question whether Kelly’s apologies will salvage her show — or even her career at NBC. She was currently half-way through her three-year contract.

Kelly has generated controversy before for comments that have been seen as racist or otherwise socially insensitive. While on Fox News, she famously insisted that Santa Claus is white.

Her remarks Tuesday came during a round-table discussion of how, she said, “the costume police are cracking down” on Halloween outfits.

“What is racist?” Kelly asked the other panelists. “Because truly you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as like a character.”

Page Six reported and other outlets reported that NBC had considered canceling the show for some time, with discussions acknowledging that the Kelly “experiment” is not working, the Hollywood Reporter said. Kelly gained fame at Fox News fame for her hard-nosed punditry, so having her present light subjects and celebrity interviews on a morning show has not been a good fit.

Reports have said her ratings have been consistently down from what “Today” garnered in the 9 a.m. hour before Kelly came on board.

“Discussions of Megyn’s show ending have been going on for a moment,” a source told Us Weekly. “This is not a recent development. NBC was practically waiting for a reason to end this show, and what Megyn delivered was a gift — an ‘out,’ essentially.”

Before her blackface comments, Kelly told NBC bosses she would prefer to be covering more hard news and not on a morning show, the Hollywood Reporter said.

The backlash against her blackface comments was swift, and the network itself covered the controversy with segments on the NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt and on “Today,” where Craig Melvin characterized her comments as “racist and ignorant” and Al Roker said she “owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”

A source suggested to Page Six that NBC apparently was inclined to “let Kelly hang out to dry.”

Another source wondered to Page Six: “Is NBC enjoying Megyn’s latest self-inflicted wounds?”

The Hollywood Reporter said Kelly has been under tremendous scrutiny since jumping from Fox News to NBC in early 2017 and winning such a lucrative contract, which critics have said could fund several newsrooms.

Kelly left in the wake of widespread sexual harassment allegations against the late Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Kelly claimed she, too, had been harassed by Ailes, and tried to bring a harder edge to “Today” by covering the #MeToo movement.

This story has been updated to include the Daily Mail and TMZ reports that Kelly had been let go from the “Today” show and NBC.

NBC says ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ not returning to the air

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Television anchor Megyn Kelly’s NBC morning show “Megyn Kelly Today” will not return to the air, NBC News said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Earlier this week, Kelly sparked widespread criticism by defending the use of blackface as part of Halloween costumes during remarks on the show.

Kelly apologized for the comments on the air, but the network began airing taped episodes of her normally live show on Thursday.

Kelly, 47, remains an employee of NBC News and “discussions about next steps are continuing,” her attorney, Bryan Freedman, said in a statement on Friday. According to a “Today” show report on Friday, NBC executives and Kelly’s representatives were in negotiations about her departure and her remaining three-year $69 million contract.

NBC hired Kelly in January 2017 after she rose to fame on 21st Century Fox’s cable channel Fox News. At the time, her contract at Fox was up for renewal and she said she was searching for new opportunities.

Next week, other Today show co-anchors will host during the 9 a.m. hour that had belonged to Kelly, NBC News said.

Kelly made her controversial remarks on her show on Tuesday. “What is racist? Because you get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” she said. “When I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up like a character.”

Kelly apologized on air the next day, saying, “I was wrong, and I am sorry.”

Megyn Kelly poses for photographers at the NBCUniversal UpFront presentation in New York City, New York, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack condemned the remarks in a staff meeting, according to a report on the network’s “Today” morning show on Friday.

Last September, Kelly caused a furor when she interviewed actress Jane Fonda and quizzed her about plastic surgery. She was criticized for interviewing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has said the 2012 Connecticut school shooting a hoax.

Despite her high-profile hiring, Kelly has failed to boost audiences. According to Nielsen ratings data, “Megyn Kelly Today” drew an average audience of 2.3 million in the 12 months to September 2018, compared to 2.8 million for “Today’s Take” that was hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall and replaced by Kelly’s show.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Television | ‘Bombshell’ raises a question: What is Megyn Kelly up to anyway?

The former Fox News anchor and NBC presence may be planning a comeback of sorts.

Megyn Kelly last appeared on NBC more than a year ago, trying to contain an uproar over on-air remarks about blackface that ultimately brought her tenure at the network to an abrupt, unhappy end.

In a few weeks’ time, she will make a return — of sorts.

On Jan. 5, NBC will broadcast the 2020 Golden Globes, where Charlize Theron will walk the red carpet as a leading nominee for her portrayal of Kelly in the movie “Bombshell,” a dramatized account of the Fox News chairman Roger Ailes’ downfall that puts Kelly center stage.

Viewers will be treated to clips of Theron’s uncanny rendition of Kelly — the actress captures, with startling precision, the vocal tics and lawyerly cadences of the former Fox News anchor — in a performance that generated awards buzz even before the film opened this past week.

But so far, Kelly has shown little interest in weighing in on her big-screen doppelganger.

She did not participate in the making of the film, and she and Theron have never spoken. Kelly attended a screening of “Bombshell” in New York last month, according to two people familiar with the event, but she has made no public remarks about it. Contacted for this article, Kelly declined to comment.

Her quietude may be strategic. Behind the scenes, Kelly, 49, is pondering a route back into the national media, according to several people who requested anonymity in describing private conversations with the anchor.

In recent weeks, Kelly has begun to reemerge. After months of communicating primarily via Twitter, she appeared on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show in October — to the chagrin of many of Carlson’s Fox News colleagues — and has posted two self-produced interviews to her Instagram account, including one with the House minority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif).

Still, these appearances are a far cry from Kelly’s previous perch as a daily presence in American living rooms, first in prime time on Fox News and then, less successfully, in the 9 a.m. hour of NBC’s “Today” show. On Fox News, she regularly drew 2 million to 3 million viewers per night; her Instagram videos have received a fraction of that.

Her rocky tenure at NBC — where she clashed with colleagues and drew low ratings — have dimmed the likelihood of a return to broadcast television. Instead, Kelly has discussed potential jobs in the digital news space, including conversations with podcast production companies, according to the people familiar with her thinking.

Kelly, the people said, believes she can find a niche as an equal-opportunity skeptic amid a divided news media. She has told friends that she did not feel comfortable at her previous employers. “I felt like the Rachel Maddow of Fox News and the Sean Hannity of NBC,” she has said.

Any attempt to revive her fortunes, however, will face resistance.

It was nearly three years ago that Kelly made her splashy, $69 million deal with NBC that gave her a Sunday night newsmagazine show as well as a daytime slot, making her one of the richest personalities in television news. The move went sideways in a hurry.

An early broadcast of “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” sparked criticism after she interviewed Infowars leader Alex Jones, and the show failed to find an audience. The sunny environment of morning television proved an odd fit for Kelly’s prosecutorial persona; the anchor initially delivered poor ratings and caused a stir after she offended a guest, Jane Fonda, by asking about her plastic surgery; she later assailed Fonda on-air as “Hanoi Jane.”

Since “Megyn Kelly Today” was canceled in October 2018, viewership for the hour has gone up 9%, according to Nielsen, a noticeable uptick at a time when ratings across the board have gone down.

All the while, Kelly was attacked from the left for her comments over the years at Fox News, most prominently a segment where she insisted that Santa Claus was white. (The Santa uproar is mentioned several times in “Bombshell.”) Last fall, she stunned co-workers by musing on-air that it was once appropriate for white people to dress up in blackface for Halloween. Days later, her show was canceled.

On Carlson’s show in October, Kelly faulted NBC for failing to commission an independent investigation of its newsroom culture. Her appearance was a hit: more than 4 million people tuned in, higher than Carlson’s average audience and making it the most-watched program in all of cable that night.

Her efforts since have not had the same reach. Kelly joined Instagram last month to promote an interview she secured with a young TV producer involved in a dust-up at ABC News over the network’s decision, several years ago, not to air an investigative report about Jeffrey Epstein. The interview has been viewed about 272,000 times on YouTube.

On Carlson’s show, Kelly said that she was relishing spending time with her young children. But her comments suggested that “Bombshell,” and Theron’s portrayal of her, might not be the final word.

“I’ll get back on that horse soon, because this has been fun,” Kelly told Carlson, smiling. “I’ll probably get back out there.”

Tucker Carlson Plans Megyn Kelly Interview on Fox News Channel

Megyn Kelly is returning to Fox News Channel – briefly.

Tucker Carlson has scheduled an interview Wednesday with the former Fox News and NBC News anchor, who will make her first appearance on her former employer’s programming since leaving in early 2017. The “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment would also mark Kelly’s first appearance on a TV-news outlet since cutting ties with NBCUniversal in January.

The announcement is certain to spark a flurry of questions as to whether Fox News is considering bringing Kelly, once one of its most-watched primetime hosts, back to its schedule – particularly in the wake of the recent departure of veteran anchor Shepard Smith. When asked if executives at the Fox Corporation-owned network expected Kelly to make other appearances on its air, the network said in a statement: “Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming guest appearance on ‘ Tonight’ was coordinated weeks ago and is a one-time occurrence. Any future programming changes we are considering do not involve her.”

Kelly could not be reached for immediate comment. The most recent post in her Twitter feed, put up in the hour before Carlson’s show came on the air at 8 p.m., was a picture of a roaring fireplace hearth.

View. 💕 pic.twitter.com/xljN0CSVr2

— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) October 14, 2019

Carlson said he planned to interview Kelly about media bias, drawing on her experiences at NBC News. It is not clear whether Kelly is bound by a non-disparagement agreement. She and NBCU parted under less-than-amicable terms, with the company canceling her “Megyn Kelly Today” after she conducted a segment in October of 2018 about people dressing for Halloween in blackface and asking whether or not such an act is considered racist. She apologized for the remarks live on air the following day.

She exited NBCUniversal free to talk to other companies about employment, according to people familiar with the agreement. And she is believed to have wallked away from the deal with the amount she was promised when first joined. Various reports put her annual salary at NBCU at anywhere from $17 million to something in the low $20-million range. Her three-year deal had previously been expected to end in early 2020.

Carlson has defended Kelly in past broadcasts of his program.