Culture&Arts

Gayle King Praised for Keeping Composure During Explosive R. Kelly Interview

Gayle King Praised for Keeping Composure During Explosive R. Kelly Interview

During his first sit-down interview since the airing of Surviving R. Kelly, the disgraced singer exploded with frustration and anger while speaking with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King. King broached the subject of two women who are now living with him, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary; the women's parents have claimed that their daughters are being held in an R. Kelly "cult", an allegation first made public in a 2017 Buzzfeed investigation. He pled not guilty.

The R&B singer, out on bail after his 22 February arrest in Chicago, gave the interview to Gayle King of CBS This Morning, with excerpts airing on Tuesday night.

When asked what disturbs him most, he replied, "All of them". Why would you take your daughter - if I'm going to take my daughter and she's 19 years old to a 49-year-old icon, whatever, celebrity or R. Kelly concert or whoever it is, I'm not going to put her on the stage and leave her.

"I don't believe that prison will help or "fix" Robert's actual problems... I've been hearing things and seeing things on the blogs and I'm just exhausted".

When King pressed him about the legality of his actions, Kelly firmly stated that he has "absolutely not" broken any laws. "I'm not Lucifer. I'm a man, I make mistakes". "How stupid would it be for R. Kelly with all I've been through in my way way past to hold somebody, let alone, four, five, six, fifty you said".

"They are still talking about you with underage girls".

Kelly said those lies include that he's holding women against their will and that he has a "cult". He claimed that had been "assassinated" and "buried alive" by the allegations.

"They are lying on me", he said.

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"How stupid would it be for me, with my insane past and what I've been through".

He continued, "That's stupid!" But just use your common sense.

"The only thing I want to say is Joycelyn, if you're seeing this message please know that I love you". But just use your common sense. "How stupid would it be for me, with my insane past and what I've been through - oh, right now I just think I need to be monster, hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don't let them eat, don't let them out, unless they need some shoes down the street from their uncle!"

He yelled, "Stop it". You don't quit playing. "Ya'll quit playin'. Quit playin'". This is not me!

When King pointed out the age gap between the women and Kelly, the singer responded: "I don't look at "much younger" than me". Y'all killing me with this s-t!

"Not true! Whether they're old rumors, new rumors, future rumors... not true!" he said. "I need help!" When King asked "What kind of help?" "Because my heart is so big, people betray me and I keep forgiving them". "I have nothing against none of these artists, but I think it's not professional for them to do that". You just don't want to believe the truth! Now, R. Kelly has reacted to some of the high-profile backlash. It's because this is the first time I was able to say something.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published last week, King was asked whether she sees herself at CBS News this time next year.