New memoir gives candid, no-holds-barred look at newscaster’s alcohol and drug abuse and road to recovery, along with anecdotes about rising through the news business, working at Fox News and encounters with Donald Trump and Roger Ailes
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2, 2020 – She was 26, blonde, beautiful and had just been hired by Fox News as a national correspondent, making her the youngest on-air talent in the history of the cable network. Courtney Friel’s battle to succeed in the news business paled in comparison to the battle of alcohol and drug addiction she was secretly fighting. From wearing a bra on her head in a commuter train to paying off the Mexican police to get her confiscated cocaine back, Friel gives an uncensored look at her life of partying and eventual recovery in her new memoir “Tonight At 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News,” available Jan. 7.
The 150-page book will be available on Amazon (paperback, $15.95; e-book, $9.99) from Launchpad Publishing and in audiobook on Audible shortly thereafter.
“Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News” gives readers a front row seat to Friel’s crazy life while she was abusing alcohol and drugs as well as her experiences in rehab and eventually journey to sobriety. The book also gives tips on getting and staying sober, with chapters on dating, raising children, divorce, career stress, chronic pain, meditation and having fun. Currently there are more than 48 million Americans struggling with substance abuse, with an estimated 130 people dying every day from opioid overdoses.
While at Fox News, Friel had several uncomfortable encounters with both Donald Trump and Fox News head Roger Ailes, which she touches upon in the book:
From “Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News” on Donald Trump:
“President Trump, who was just Donald Trump at the time, also told me I was the hottest one at Fox News, and even called me up on my office line with a proposition. It was 2010 and I’d interviewed him many times on red carpets, with Melania right by his side. I once told him I’d love to be a judge on Miss USA (since he owned the pageant at the time). He asked for my business card and said he’d look into it for me. To my surprise, Trump called me a few weeks later. Though he said I couldn’t be a judge since I worked at a different network, he did ask me about my career goals and complimented my work at FNC. Then, out of nowhere, he said: ‘You should come up to my office sometime, so we can kiss.’ I was shocked—seriously, who says that? ‘Donald,’ I responded, ‘I believe we’re both married.’ I quickly ended the call – my office mate and colleague… had witnessed the whole conversation while sitting at the desk right next to me. Years later, this proposition made it difficult for me to report with a straight face on Trump running for president. It infuriated me that he would call all the women who shared stories of his bold advances liars. I totally believe them. At least now I can joke that I could have banged the President – but I passed.”
From “Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News” on Roger Ailes:
“I too dealt with sexual harassment from the head of Fox News, though not to the extent some of my other colleagues did. When I would have meetings with Roger in his office (which had security monitors and a huge lock on the door), he would ask me to twirl for him. He’d always tell me I was “the hottest one at Fox,” and would compliment my legs. We weren’t allowed to wear pants, and if I was anchoring “Fox & Friends” on the curvy couch with the laptop screen blocking the view of my legs, Roger would call the control room and have the director tell me to shut it. The comments and twirling made me feel uncomfortable, but at the time I would deflect my feelings with humor, saying ‘Oh, Roger just has DOMS.’ DOMS was a term I made up that stood for Dirty Old Man Syndrome.”
Praise for “Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News”
Megyn Kelly (journalist, former Fox News and NBC anchor, host of “The Kelly File”)
“A raw, honest and unsparing examination of one very famous news anchor’s not-so-well-known path to sobriety – Courtney’s story will make you laugh, cringe and, ultimately, cheer. BRAVA!”
Jerry O’Connell (actor, TV host)
“Raw, powerful, and inspiring… Courtney’s experiences with addiction, strength in overcoming it, and hope for a better life are universally relatable and a must read for anyone seeking behind the scenes adventures in TV news.”
Ben Stein (editorial columnist at The Wall Street Journal, host of “Win Ben Stein’s Money”)
“Love Courtney’s voice – she’s fun, funny, frank and candid! No doubt ‘Tonight at 10’ will help many people struggling with addiction.”
About Courtney Friel
Courtney Friel has been a news anchor at KTLA-TV, the number one news station in Los Angeles, since 2013. She also hosts the highly successful podcast “Keepin’ It Friel: Conversations on Recovery.” In 2007, at the age of 26, Friel was hired by Fox News Channel as a national news correspondent and fill-in host for “Fox & Friends,” where she worked for six years. She remains to this day the youngest on-air talent ever hired by the cable network. Previously she reported for CBS, ABC and Fox affiliate stations as well as shows including “America’s Most Wanted,” “Extra,” and “E! News.” Friel has more than a decade sober and speaks around the country on the topic of sobriety. Friel was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia and currently resides in Los Angeles with her fiancé and two children.
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