Viewers Praise Gayle King’s Composure During Intense R. Kelly Interview

Viewers have praised the composure of CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King after she spoke with R&B singer and accused sexual predator R. Kelly, who shouted and towered over King in his first televised interview since facing new charges of sex abuse against underage girls.

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Clips of the interview, which aired in full in the US overnight, show Kelly plead his innocence and assert his accusers have fabricated their allegations.

When King asked if he had ever slept with underage girls – an accusation that has been levelled many times against Kelly during his decades-long career, including in a 2008 child pornography trial which ended in Kelly’s controversial acquittal – the singer stood from his chair and directly addressed the camera.

“I’m fighting for my fucking life. You’re killing me with this shit,” Kelly said.

“I gave you thirty years of my fucking career,” he said, as King attempted to diffuse the situation.

“And y’all trying to kill me? You killing me, man! This is not about music! I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids! And I can’t do it,” Kelly added.

After taking a minute for Kelly to regain his composure, King tried to rein the situation in.

“Robert, we have to have a conversation, really. I don’t want you just ranting at the camera,” King said.

As Kelly suggested the reason he has faced so many accusations is because “my heart is so big, people betray me”, King said “you sound like you’re playing the victim here.”

King’s response to Kelly’s overt physicality was noticed by viewers, who commented on her ability to press Kelly on the serious allegations levelled against him while not permitting him to simply address the audience.

Photos posted on King’s Instagram account were also singled out as demonstrative of the conversation.

Kelly has also been scrutinised by former BuzzFeed News editor Marisa Carroll, who disputed his allegation the CBS interview was the first time he’d been permitted to discuss the allegations against him with the media.

Kelly was charged with ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four victims last month. Three of them were listed as underage at the time of his alleged offending. He plead not guilty, and his next court appearance is slated for March 22.