March 08, 2019
Earlier this week, "CBS This Morning," aired an interview with an emotional R. Kelly, who screamed at a calm and composed Gayle King that he was "fighting for his f***ing life." What was already a difficult case has taken a nose dive into much deeper and troubling legal waters for the singer.
King admitted in an interview on the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that her stoic and fierce no-reaction to R. Kelly’s overreaction truly came from her fear the interview would end too quickly. She says, “I decided that if I sat there quietly, make eye contact with him, he would know I’m not going anywhere, that I’m just waiting for him to finish whatever this is.”
Billboard reported earlier on Friday that the CBS interview was approved by Kelly's legal defense, including lawyer Steven Greenberg, who told Billboard that the interview "wasn't a legal strategy, it was a life strategy." Criminal defense experts claim, however, that the interview is disastrous for the singer's case.
Former federal prosecutor Priya Sopori says that since Kelly is essentially on trial for the way he treats women "to see him behaving in a manner so aggressively and emotionally, with a high temper, in such close proximity to a woman asking him questions - it is going to be hard to separate that behavior from his conduct.”
Kelly is facing 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse charges involving four women. Three of these women were allegedly underage at the time of the abuse. Kelly is currently in jail after he was arrested on Wednesday for not paying more than $160,000 in child support to his ex-wife.
At the end of the interview, Colbert asked King how she feels about separating the music from the accusations, asking "Can you still enjoy the works of artists like R. Kelly or Michael Jackson after this?" Gayle notes that, for her, both of those artists' work have been tainted, saying "It's hard to separate it now."
She notes, "We're hearing now with different ears. We're paying attention to it in a way that we haven't paid attention to it before." Adding, "You can decide whether you want to believe it or not, but you can't unhear it."
A primetime special of the Gayle King interview with R. Kelly will air Friday, March 8, on CBS at 8 p.m.