Gayle King discussed her much-talked-about interview with R.Kelly on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
In the explosive interview, R. Kelly stood above King, screaming. He jumped out of his chair and pounded his chest, yelling into the camera. The CBS This Morning anchor was praised for how calm she reacted to his hostile, emotional outburst.
“He was upset with me for some of the questions, he was a little irritated, that’s okay,” King told Colbert.
“So when I see Robert getting very upset and he stands out of his seat, my initial reaction was, ‘Oh God, please don’t leave, please don’t leave, please don’t leave!’ Because we’ve seen him storm out of interviews before, so I thought he was gonna do that and I was thinking, ‘I’m not done with my questions. What can I do to save this interview?’”
“When somebody says your name, it is soothing,” King said. “I’ll say his name, he’ll know that I’m here, and he will eventually sit back down, which he did.”
King expressed that she was never concerned for her safety. “I never thought that he was going to hurt me or hit me,” she said.
“He keeps saying that, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. All these women are wrong,’ and I go, ‘All these women are lying except for you?’ That just defies logic,” she said. “When I went into the interview Stephen, I knew he wasn’t going to say, ‘You know Gayle, you’re right. I’ve done terrible things.’ But I did think on some level, he would have a moment of reflection, he would have contrition.”
“So it became very troubling to me to see him, really, just fall apart. I thought we were witnessing the self-destruction of a man having a breakdown and that’s never a good thing to see, never.