Megyn Kelly’s Bitter Legal Battle With NBC Heats Up

Megyn Kelly isn't leaving NBC quietly, and the legal battle between the network and its former star is starting to get ugly.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Megyn Kelly attends the "Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com)
Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Megyn Kelly isn't leaving NBC quietly, and the legal battle between the network and its former star is starting to get ugly.

Megyn Kelly has decided not to go quietly into that good night. Even though NBC no longer wants her around, as a host for “Today” or for anything else, her and her lawyer Bryan Freedman seem determined to battle until the bitter end. And with all this feet-dragging and protracted back-and-forth, the bitter end is likely to come later rather than sooner.

Freedman has released unflattering statements about NBC, though his client is in the middle of negotiations with the network. Freedman claims that NBC chair Andy Lack has been leaking information about the negotiations, CNN reports.

“Despite my efforts to handle this process confidentially, NBC News is allowing the media to run with completely false and irresponsible reports that disparage Megyn by erroneously claiming she has ever asked for more money than her contract requires,” Freedman said in a Wednesday statement.

“If NBC News is not the source then they have a responsibility as a news division to correct these false claims. Or are they somehow attempting to use these fabrications for some fictitious advantage in the discussions we’re having?”

Freedman may be referring to recent media reports from entertainment news sources that Kelly and NBC aren’t agreeing on how much money she’ll get when she leaves the network. Their reports say that the two parties are feuding about the terms of her exit agreement.

According to anonymous sources reported on by CNN, one problem in the negotiations is the non-disparagement clause in Kelly’s contract. This would keep her from bad-mouthing NBC at any future point.

And if Kelly plans to do something like, say, write a tell-all book, this kind of clause could really put a damper on her plans.

These types of clauses are pretty standard, but in Kelly’s case, there’s a little more to the story. Isn’t there always? Kelly has hinted around that she has information about controversies at NBC, and she’s had some unkind things to say about the upper management at the network in the past.

Reports that Kelly is asking for an additional $10 million from the network, however, are false, reports the Washington Post. Andy Lack has confirmed that this is a false report, but there are still other problems at play that are preventing a clean break between Kelly and NBC.

As for NBC, the network says they are attempting to take the high road. “Unlike Mr. Freedman, who has repeatedly commented to the media throughout the negotiations, we respect the confidentiality of the process, and will have no comment until it reaches its conclusion,” an NBC spokesperson said.

Kelly has asked for privacy while the negotiations continue, saying that the paparazzi have been outside her home and at her daughter’s school, according to USA Today.

All this began last week when Megyn Kelly defended the use of blackface for Halloween purposes. Once that boulder started rolling downhill, the famous former Fox News host was crushed beneath it. After making the comments on Tuesday, Kelly returned to her show to deliver a lengthy apology Wednesday.

As ire over her comments grew, NBC pulled the plug on “Megyn Kelly Today” and aired a rerun episode Thursday. By Friday, NBC released a statement that Kelly had indeed been let go from the network.