Gayle King never thought she was in danger during her interview with R. Kelly that aired on Wednesday.
“I was never worried he was going to hurt me. I was more worried that he was going to get up and leave,” she said in an article published by The Oprah Magazine after the sit down where the embattled R&B singer was extremely emotional and angrywhen discussing the sexual abuse charges and accusations leveled against him.
Aired on “CBS This Morning,” the anchor remained composed as Kelly repeatedly punched his hand, hit his chest and at one point stood up to speak directly to the camera.
“Quit playing, I didn’t do this stuff,” he said at one point during the discussion. “This is not me. I’m fighting for my f—ing life.”
But King, who is editor-at-large of the magazine, was calm even as Kelly lashed out.
“I did worry at some points that he might accidentally hit me, because he was so angry that he was flailing,” she admitted. “But I knew that I wasn’t in any real danger. I just kept thinking ‘Okay, Robert, go ahead’ and that’s what I said.”
Producers and his publicist also all called for a break after he lost his cool.
King explained to the magazine that she met with Kelly about 15 minutes before the interview to prevent a “daunting” situation; walking into a room filled with lights and cameras.
She was told he would be open to talking about the accusations, but she wasn’t allowed to ask about his alleged relationship with the late singer Aaliyah and “the newest charges, because it’s an active court case.”
“But he was angry,” she said. “He did get angry, as you saw during the interview. But then he kept saying ‘You said you wanted me to talk, let me talk.’ So I did.”
King also interviewed Kelly’s live-in girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, in an interview that will air in full on the network on Thursday.
In a preview clip, Clary blasted their parents for accusing the singer and claimed they were after his money.
“Its all f–king lies for money, and if you can’t see that, you’re ignorant and you’re stupid,” she said.
Savage’s parents spoke in a press conference following Wednesday morning’s interview claiming “at no point” did they ever discuss money with the Kelly.