Right-wing media personality Megyn Kelly usually exhibits a profound lack of empathy for people less privileged than her. But on her radio show, she gave a vehement defense of four women, including one who was 16, accusing comedian Russell Brand of raping them and asked people who are calling the women liars to look at the evidence before jumping to the conclusion that Brand didn't rape the women.
Here's what Kelly said:
You guys, I realized that the knee jerk instinct now by so many is, "Russell Brand is wrongly accused. These women are all liars." I'm sorry this is extremely detailed. And then in the case of the other woman, there's an actual set of medical records after she went to a rape crisis center, the day of the alleged encounter plus, apologetic begging for forgiveness text from Russell Brand. Could you please for a second stay open minded to the possibility that the women are telling the truth. We don't need to so overcorrect from the Me Too to movement that every woman gets completely disregarded and called a liar when she finds the guts to come forward and make an allegation. They may be telling the truth. It's worth investigating. We don't need to knee jerk condemn him. And we don't need to knee jerk condemn them. I'm just pissed because what I've seen is like a rash of guys coming out to be like, "it's bullshit." You don't know whether it's bullshit or not. Did you read the report of this woman? Did you read the rape? The alleged rape details? Did you read the text message that she has from Russell Brand begging for forgiveness? There's at least enough for us to want more facts.
The roots of her opinion can be traced back to her personal experiences with sexual harassment in the toxic environment of Fox News. While commendable, it's a shame that she struggles to show the same level of understanding and empathy for people who have encountered different types of hardship or injustice.
From The Times:
One woman alleges that Brand raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home. She was treated at a rape crisis centre on the same day, according to medical records. Text messages show that in the hours after leaving his house, she told Brand that she had been scared by him and felt taken advantage of, adding: "When a girl say[s] NO it means no." Brand replied saying he was "very sorry".
A second woman alleges that Brand assaulted her when he was 31 and she was 16 and still at school. She said he referred to her as "the child" during an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship that lasted for about three months, and that Brand once "forced his penis down her throat", making her choke. She says she tried to push him off and said she had to punch him in the stomach to make him stop.
A third woman claims that he sexually assaulted her while she worked with him in Los Angeles, and that he threatened to take legal action if she told anyone else about her allegation.
The fourth described being sexually assaulted by Brand and him being physically and emotionally abusive towards her.