Gayle King has spoken out about her explosive interview with R. Kelly, which held seven months ago, and how she felt in the moment.
The veteran journalist stopped by Showtime’s Desus & Mero, where she was asked about how she handled R. Kelly when he became really emotional while she was interviewing him about the sexual assault allegations brought against him.
Gayle King said she wasn’t afraid of R. Kelly but she was worried that “he might accidentally hurt” her with his manic reactions.
She told hosts Desus Nice and The Kid Mero: “I really think that we were watching him having a breakdown in real-time.”
Mero said to Gayle on Thursday night: “You are an unflappable master interviewer. You had R. Kelly wildin’ the fuck out. Like screaming, going bonkers.”
Desus asked: “What was that experience like?”, adding that “no one has done that” to him and his co-host
And Gayle King replied: “No one’s done that to me, either.”
She continued: “I never thought that he was gonna hurt me, guys. But when he was doing this,” she said, miming a punching motion, “I thought he might accidentally hurt me. And I was worried about that. Because you could tell, he could hit hard.”
King went on to say that as Kelly yelled, he began “spitting,” and “it was flying all over the place.”
Pointing to her bottom lip, the CBS This Morning anchor explained, “His spit fell on my lip right here.
“So I just sat there like this thinking, ‘I don’t want to move.’ If somebody does that to you, you can just very gracefully or discreetly go like that, but I knew I couldn’t make any sudden movements because he was very amped up, as you see.”
Gayle King added: “I really think that we were watching him having a breakdown in real-time. I really do. Somebody said, ‘Oh, Gayle. He played you. He was just faking.’ I do not think that was fake. I don’t.”
R. Kelly has since been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse in New York and Chicago.