Gayle King Wasn’t Allowed To Ask R. Kelly About Aaliyah
Gayle King might have hit R. Kelly with tough questions during their interviews that aired over the course of the week, but there was one thing she wasn’t allowed to ask him about. Aaliyah.
“They didn’t want any questions about Aaliyah, which I was fine with,” she explained.
“I feel we have heard the Aaliyah story. Really, this interview was about R. Kelly’s reaction to the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary and the latest charges, and they said he cannot discuss the latest charges because those are still in court. O.K., fine. I still feel we had a lot of information to get from R. Kelly.”
For fans who saw the full interview or even the viral clips of R. Kelly’s interview with King over his charges for allegedly sexually assaulting underage girls and women, many wondered how King was able to sit so chill while Kelly stood over her as he passionately denied the rumors.
“The problem is when you get that out of control — the way he was hitting his fist and the way that he was cursing, the intensity of his voice — sometimes you can’t control yourself, so I just didn’t want to get hit accidentally. So I just decided, let me just sit here very quietly, and I would look at him to let him know, I’m not getting up. I worried that if I got up, that would say to him, this is over, this interview is over, even on a subliminal level, it’s O.K. to leave.”
While she said in a previous interview that she wasn’t afraid during the intense moment, she explained that she wasn’t going to make things worse by asking him to calm down.
“You know what it’s like, if you’re really worked up and somebody tells you to calm down, it’s like, “I AM calm!” So I knew I didn’t want to do that. So I thought, let me just sit here quietly and let him know that I’m not going anywhere. When you’re finished, we’ll continue. That was really my attitude.”
Still, amid Kelly getting extremely close to her, she said she could tell he was having a very public breakdown.
“I felt sympathy for a human being that I could see was coming unglued. I don’t have sympathy for the charges or the allegations. And I don’t ever want to witness something like that. And I do think that he needs help. After, I told him, I hope you do get therapy, I think it could be helpful.”
She said she and her colleagues on the set couldn’t even pretend Kelly’s reaction didn’t just happen. It got so intense her children and BFF, Opray Winfrey, called her after the interview to check on her.
“If you look at the pictures and the video, it does look frightening. I guess nobody wants to see your mom get yelled at, but I didn’t necessarily feel that he was yelling at me. I thought that he was having a rant, and I was just in the path of his anger.”
As for R. Kelly’s girlfriends, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who told King there’s nothing shady going on, despite their parents saying Kelly is keeping them against their will, King said they’re certainly not in touch with reality.
“I just thought, you girls have no idea. I think one day they’re going to look back on this and go, what the hell was I thinking? At the end of the day, you’re going to need your family. I believe your family is going to be there long after R. Kelly is not. Because we don’t know how the R. Kelly story is going to end.”
Meanwhile, R. Kelly has been released from his second stint in jail this month. He was taken into custody earlier this week for owing $160,000 in child support. He was released after a payment was made for him.
He could still be facing jail time for 10 counts of aggravated assault.