Gayle King returned to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to share her insight on R. Kelly, having just interviewed him for his first post-criminal charges media appearance.
After talking a few moments about what a moment Gayle King is having right now (a big enough moment to receive a phone call from Sir Elton John right before coming out on stage to sit with Colbert), Gayle King gets right into her already infamous interview with R. Kelly that hasn’t even aired yet. The interview occurred at Kelly’s home, and before it even began, anyone could tell that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation between two people.
R. Kelly, a musician known for his hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix)”, has not-so-recently been accused of sexual abuse – mainly, engaging in sexual relationships with minors. He’s been managing to slip out of the grasp of these allegations for more than 20 years, including being acquitted of charges of child pornography in 2008. But recently, the charges finally caught up with Kelly, and this time they’ve stuck.
In the lead up to the airing of Gayle King’s interview with R. Kelly – which will be his first on-record words since being indicted with 10 charges of sexual abuse – everyone’s been talking. A bit is already known about the interview, mainly that Kelly is not handling the whole situation well and isn’t composed, thanks to an incredible image taken on set of the interview: an irate Kelly stands over an infinitely calm King.
Reports surrounding this interview, and releases like this image, indicate that Kelly is drowning, panicking over his impending legal troubles. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, and especially after the conviction of long-time abuser Bill Cosby, Kelly must see the writing on the wall; the similarities between Cosby’s and Kelly’s open-secret of being long-time sexual predators with decades of mostly dismissed accusations is too significant to ignore.
In an example of Kelly’s floundering, he invaded the space of Gayle King while she was interviewing his live-in girlfriends – yes, there are two of them, and with Kelly at age 52, they are 29 and 31 years his junior. While King was interviewing the women, Kelly returned to the interview space to disrupt King’s interview and her team.
As further proof that R. Kelly is panicking – as though it’s needed – King brought a brief clip of the upcoming interview, and Kelly does not come off as unruffled. Nor does he come off as anything but a creep. Plus, King shares her thoughts on Kelly’s music, and how one can or can’t listen to it in the context of his actions.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has hosted Gayle King many times before, and she’s always been a compelling guest with a good back-and-forth with Stephen. But this appearance was all about King’s upcoming interview – Stephen stepped back, out of the spotlight, to let King set up some context for the soon-to-air and culturally important R. Kelly interview. While Colbert set up the atmosphere for King and prompted her talking points, King provided a companion piece for the Kelly interview in her appearance on The Late Show. For those who know little about R. Kelly, this episode of The Late Show will have gotten anyone caught up.