On Wednesday, the first part of Gayle King’s interview with R. Kelly — his first television interview since being charged with ten counts of felony aggravated criminal sex abuse — aired on CBS This Morning. Through the interview, Kelly denied any wrongdoing, while also yelling, crying, and appearing to lash out at King in rage.
Meanwhile, King remained composed and didn’t let his temper throw her off her game at all — and in the process, reminded the world that she is, and always has been, an incredibly skilled interviewer and journalist. And now, King has opened up to O, The Oprah Magazine — where she serves as editor-at-large — about the experience.
“I was not scared. I never thought he was going to hit me,” King told writer Arianna Davis. She further said that she was “never worried” he was going to hurt her; instead, she was worried he would leave. King continued:
“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.”
King went on to say that she “just knew” she wasn’t in danger. “I did worry at some points that he might accidentally hit me, because he was so angry that he was flailing,” she added. “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.”
The second part of King’s interview with R. Kelly airs on Thursday morning. Read the full O, The Oprah Magazine interview here.