Megyn’s Shocking Confessions
Anxiety, debt, her “obsession” with men — NBC’S Megyn Kelly exposes her darkest secrets
Come Sept. 25, all eyes will be on Megyn Kelly — several million eyes, NBC execs hope. On that morning, the former Fox News anchor will make her much-hyped debut on Megyn Kelly Today during the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show. And Megyn, 46, badly needs a hit after months of bad press. Her Sunday prime-time newsmagazine debuted to lackluster ratings in June; she came under fire for giving conspiracy theorist Alex Jones a platform on her show; and Today anchor Matt Lauer has rebuffed the onetime lawyer, according to multiple sources. He fears Megyn Kelly Today will garner low ratings, hurting Today (which is No. 1 among adults 25–54) as a brand. “The pressure is on Megyn to come out of the gate with big numbers,” says one insider. But she isn’t sweating it. “[I’m] not nervous at all. [I’m] psyched!” she told a fan at an event for her book, Settle for More, at a Barnes & Noble store in Princeton, N.J., on Sept. 7. During a freewheeling Q&A, the remarkably candid host revealed so much more.
SHE FEARED SHE’D NEVER WED AGAIN Megyn became filled with anxiety after her nearly five-year marriage to Dr. Dan Kendall, an anesthesiologist based in the Washington, D.C., area, ended in 2006. “I was 36, I was wondering, Will I get married again? Am I ever going to have children? Do I have cobwebs on my ovaries?” she said. Megyn needn’t have worried. She soon met entrepreneur and novelist Douglas Brunt on a blind date, and the two wed in 2008. Nine years and three children later, the mom to Yates, 7, Yardley, 6, and Thatcher, 4, can’t believe her luck. “[It’s] fun to look back now and see how it worked out,” she said. “I did find true love.”
SHE WAS IN THERAPY When her marriage ended, Megyn sought professional help. “[My therapist] said, ‘There are lots of [ guys out there].’ It’s almost like one of those manifestation things where if you believe, then suddenly you put out different energy into the world and then you start attracting different kinds of people,” she recalled, “and that is what happened to me.” SHE STILL TALKS TO FRIENDS AT FOX Throughout the 75-minute event, Megyn never mentioned Matt or her other NBC colleagues, including Hoda Kotb or Savannah Guthrie. She did, however, make a point to shout out her former colleagues at Fox News, where she worked for 13 years. Gushed Megyn, “I talk and text with my friends there every day.”
SHE WAS IN DEBT AND FACED BANKRUPTCY Megyn holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and a J.D. from Albany Law School. But her degrees came with a hefty price. In 1995, “I graduated law school with $100,000 worth of debt,” Megyn said. Though she wanted to work for the Manhattan district attorney and “put bad guys in jail,” she couldn’t afford to live on the $30,000-per-year salary. “I was below the federal poverty level,” said Megyn, who went into lucrative corporate law in order to pay her bills. “I [was] in the position where I could actually face bankruptcy…. I was that in debt.”
SHE WAS “OBSESSED” WITH MEN One of the most powerful women in media was once a boy-crazy teen. Asked by an attendee what advice she’d give to her younger self, Megyn replied, “Not to worry so much about men…. I do think that we tend to obsess about members of the opposite sex…. I really wish I had worried more about myself and what would make me happy than what would have made the guys that I was dating at the time happy.” As for advice she’d give to young women now, Megyn was similarly blunt. “Don’t be a slut,” she said. “Respect your body is the point, understand, be confident in yourself even there. And try everything.” ◼
HER LOWEST MOMENT “I just wasn’t happy, and I was totally afraid to admit that to myself because the worst lies are the ones that you tell yourself,” Megyn says of what motivated her to end her marriage (in 2006) and change careers.