Hugely influential American news anchor Megyn Kelly has always stood her ground against powerful men, including newly inaugurated US president Donald Trump.
Having recently jumped ship from her massive ratings success with Fox News’ The Kelly File to join NBC and gain more family-friendly hours, Ms Kelly’s detail-rich memoir Settle For More reveals the effect Mr Trump’s prolonged attack on her journalistic credibility had on her young daughter Yardley.
Mr Trump railed at Ms Kelly after she co-moderated the first Republican primary debate in August 2016.
The day got off to a bad start when, having drunk a coffee given to her by a suspiciously insistent cab driver, she was bed-ridden with excruciating headaches and constant vomiting.
Thankfully, anti-nausea drugs, the wonders of makeup and a blanket and bucket under the desk meant Ms Kelly made it through the debate with the world none the wiser.
At one point in the heated debate, Mr Trump became visibly rattled when Kelly asked him about his lack of a “politician’s filter,” and propensity to call women he didn’t like “fat pigs”, “dogs”, “slobs” and “disgusting animals.”
How would this play out if, as expected, he had to face Hillary Clinton as the Democrat nominee?
Megyn Kelly asks the tough questions during the debate:
First, Mr Trump delivered a veiled threat to her: “I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.”
But it was his interview with CNN’s Don Lemon the following evening that really sparked the crisis.
Mr Trump made the notorious menstruation jibe: “So she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions and you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her… wherever.”
Donald Trump calls Megyn Kelly ‘a lightweight’
Ms Kelly was used to dealing with sexism in the workplace from her previous life as a hard-working associate lawyer where she had to cope with a senior asking her to photocopy for him.
She also had disgraced former Fox News CEO and co-founder Roger Ailes trying to force a kiss on her three times and had been through the ordeal of violent threats form stalkers.
But it was Mr Trump’s stream of insults on Twitter and the effect it had on Yardley that hurt most.
Highly overrated & crazy @megynkelly is always complaining about Trump and yet she devotes her shows to me. Focus on others Megyn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2016
I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2016
When the third Fox News debate came around, with Trump having pulled out of the second, Yardley confessed, “I’m afraid of Donald Trump… he wants to hurt me”.
She reasoned that if he wanted to hurt her mummy, he wanted to hurt their family. She also asked her mother and father Doug what a “bimbo” was.
Ms Kelly revealed that her previous interactions with Trump had been cordial, but that in the lead up to the first debate, he had continually crossed the line attempting to woo her with various offers including a trip to his ostentatious Palm Beach retreat Mar-a-Lago.
All were rebuffed, though she hinted other reporters weren’t so diligent.
Mr Trump’s patience was, she noted, unusually frayed, given he wanted access to the country’s nuclear codes.
Settle For More is an inspiring read written by a woman who identifies Oprah Winfrey, with her “just be better” philosophy, as her role model and often wears an oversized green t-shirt at home bearing the phrase ‘I WANT IT ALL’.
She can take on Mr Trump and win, and she won’t be torn down by other women either.
When she did a photo-shoot for GQ at 40 wearing a black slip while pregnant, Ms Kelly received emails from fellow female journalists criticising her decision.
Her response? “I felt no need to justify it. I don’t buy into that line of thinking that says we must only be these hard-charging professionals or we sacrifice our credibility. By this point, I had zero fear that people were not going to take me seriously.”
Settle For More by Megyn Kelly is out now.