It has been four months since Megyn Kelly earned the wrath and ire of Jane Fonda for asking the 80-year-old actress about her plastic surgery, and the NBC host is now responding to the backlash.
That moment occurred during Kelly’s third episode when she asked the Oscar-winner about what work she had done in the past, which prompted a steely Fonda to stare Kelly down and ask: ‘We really want to talk about that now?’
Since then Fonda has complained about the question to a number of outlets, and even mocked Kelly’s question on Today last week during an interview with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb
‘When she first complained publicly after the program, and repeatedly, I chose to say nothing, as my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business,’ said Megyn at the end of her program on Monday.
‘However, Fonda was at it again last week, including right here on NBC, and then again elsewhere. So it’s time to address the poor-me routine.’
She then went on to criticize Fonda for her actions during the Vietnam War four decades ago, stating that the actress had yet to apologize.
On the attack: Megyn Kelly (above on Monday) tore into Jane Fonda for repeatedly criticizing her over a plastic surgery question she asked the actress, 80, back in September
‘First, some context. Fonda was on to promote a film about aging. For years she has spoken openly about her joy in giving a cultural face to older women,’ Kelly told her studio audience.
‘Well the truth is most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80. And if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore.’
She continued: ‘Fonda herself knows this. She knows this. And that is why, to her credit, she’s discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show.’
Kelly went on to list the many outlets that Fonda has complained to along with the many outlets to which she has previously discussed her plastic surgery.
‘Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well and she rejected it. That’s okay. But I have no regrets about the question,’ explained Kelly.
‘Nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is and is not appropriate. After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage.’
That is when Kelly launched into Fox News mode.
‘Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam war, many of our veterans still call her “Hanoi Jane” thanks to her radio broadcasts which attempted to shame American troops. She posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our pilots,’ stated Kelly.
‘She called our POW’s “hypocrites and liars” and referred to their torture as understandable. Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture – but not for the rest of it.’
She then closed out by saying: ‘By the way she still says she’s not proud of America. So, the moral indignation is a little much. She put her plastic surgery out there. She said she wanted to discuss the plight of older women in America. And honestly she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive.’
Viewers of The Kelly File might recognize these comments from episodes of the host’s Fox News program.
In at least three videos from 2014, Kelly welcomed guests on her program to trash Jane Fonda while also taking some shots of her own at the Oscar winner.
In one interview with Dennis Miller in June of that year, Kelly smiled while saying that ‘things went south’ for the actress after her role in ‘Barbarella.’
She continued to laughed as Miller said that Fonda ‘made sense’ to him when she played the the title character in that film, a voluptuous space traveler from the planet Earth who spent most of her time in little to no clothing.
Those comments were made in response to her actions during the Vietnam War.
Just a few months before Kelly and Miller went after Fonda in 2014, the host also called out then-first lady Michelle Obama for saying she admired the actress’ political savvy.
‘The thing is, if she had just said I want to have a body like Jane Fonda when I’m 76 most women would say, “yeah, me too,” said Kelly.
‘But when she named the political savvy and said she was someone she wanted to live like she crossed over into territory where people would criticize her.’
In what looked at the time to be an ill-advised and poorly conceived move, Kelly decided to ask the actress to detail the plastic surgery she has had done over the year back in September.
‘You, you’ve been an example to everyone, on how to age beautifully and with strength. And unapologetically,’ began Kelly, nervously drawing out her question.
‘You admit you had work done. I think it’s to your credit. You look amazing. Have you … why did you say .. I read you felt you’re not proud to admit you had work done, why not?’
That is when Fonda asked why they were discussing the subject.
Kelly tried her best to salvage the question, with Fonda at that point glancing over to her guest Robert Redford in disbelief that she was being asked that question while out promoting the pair’s new film, ‘Our Souls at Night.’
‘Well, one of the things people think about when they look at you, is how amazing you look,’ said Kelly.
A composed-as-ever but noticeably chilly Fonda at that point demurred: ‘Thanks. Good attitude. Good posture. Take care of myself.’
She then took control of the interview from Kelly by telling the host: ‘Let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, “Our Souls at Night,” rather than plastic surgery.’
Redford then looked at his co-star and showed his support for her by laughing and saying: ‘Back to that, huh.’
Fonda then launched into her own talk about the film, no longer waiting or wanting to take one of Kelly’s questions.
‘You kind of have a choice in life, when you get to be close to 80, or even before then, what you want to do with your life. And my character, Addie, in this movie, she knows there’s a lot more time behind her than in front,’ explained Fonda.
‘And she doesn’t want to go down lonely and scared. She’s been a widow, living in this house by herself. And she’s lonely and scared. And she’s a shy person, who is not someone who would normally do this. But she girds her loins and decides…’
Redford jumped in saying: ‘That’s where I come in. You need to be girded.’
Redford later sang the praises of his co-star, who he previously worked with on such films as ‘Barefoot In the Park’ and ‘The Chase.’
‘One of the things I like about Jane that’s manifest in this film, is she is a force. As long as I’ve known Jane, she always has been moving forward. And doesn’t look back,’ said Redford.
‘And whatever pain, whatever problem she’s had in the past, remains in the past. And she keeps moving forward. It’s an admirable quality. And few people have it like Jane does.’
The rest of the interview was a wash, with Kelly getting no response from Fonda when she launched into a bit about how she was an aerobics instructor for 10 years shortly after the actress released her bestselling exercise tapes.
And to close it all out, Fonda drove home just how little she cared for Megyn’s questions and how proud she was of her looks and how she has aged when the host asked her guests: ‘On behalf of our audience member, Victoria wanted to ask, if you could go back to any age in your life, what would it be? I ask that to both of you.’
Fonda very curtly replied: ‘Right now. I wouldn’t want any other time.’
The actress has indeed spoken about procedures she has had done in the past, but only while promoting her fitness and wellness projects.