MEDIA

Gayle King Shares What Was Going Through Her Mind When R. Kelly Lost It

The "CBS This Morning" coanchor explains the wildest moment of her interview with the R&B singer.

Gayle King is winning praise for keeping cool during her instantly infamous interview with R. Kelly that aired Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”

The R&B singer grew agitated as he discussed the allegations of aggravated sexual abuse that led to his arrest last monthThree of the four victims in the case said they were minors at the time. 

Kelly denied the claims. He teared up over the allegations. And at one point, he leaped out of his seat and started shouting and swearing.

Through it all, King barely batted an eye.

I was not scared. I never thought he was going to hit me,” she told Oprah magazine. “After, Oprah and my kids Kirby and Will called me to ask if I was okay because it looked scary.”

The “CBS This Morning” co-anchor said her real fear was that Kelly might walk out: 

“So what I was really thinking to myself was: I’m not done with this interview, so I’m going to let him have his moment. If I stood up even to comfort him, that could have been his invitation to say ‘This is over.’ So I didn’t interrupt his anger and let him have that.”

When pressed, King insisted that she wasn’t worried for her safety. 

“I just knew that I was never in danger,” she said. “I did worry at some points that he might accidentally hit me because he was so angry that he was flailing. But I knew that I wasn’t in any real danger. I just kept thinking ‘Okay, Robert, go ahead’ and that’s what I said.”

King also interviewed Kelly’s two girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, “and to my surprise, they were very angry.”

“They feel that Robert has been maligned, that their own parents are lying...that interview is very eye-opening,” King said.

Both sets of parents have slammed Kelly, with the Savages accusing him of brainwashing their daughter. In a statement, the Clarys called him a “desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls.” They added that he should “die in prison.”

King’s interview with Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary airs Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”

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