Watch Gayle King's Full Interview with R. Kelly HERE
On Friday March 8, CBS aired a one-hour interview Gayle King had with R. Kelly. Now, please understand I don’t follow a lot of what is in the media. I certainly don’t follow a lot about celebrity news. But, I AM always interested in behavior and psychology, things like that and when I saw the preview for the interview I saw R. Kelly out of his chair, yelling at the camera and violently pounding his chest. Sooooo, the natural observer in me felt the need to watch this. And before anyone wants to jump on me about any movement or politics, that’s NOT what this article is about. And let it be known right up front, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an R. Kelly fan. I also am probably the ONLY person to ever live that truly hates the song ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. There. I said it. Now, you can hate me.
I watched this interview strictly from a behavioral science kind of point of view. So much is SAID when stuff like this comes up, I wanted to see what he DID, how he ACTED, I didn’t care so much what he SAID, although some of his responses could be considered damning. So, please, no hateful political or ideation chatter. This is different.
While I watched and listened, I looked to see if his body language matched his words. I listened to his word choice. I also listened for what he DIDN’T say. Now, I didn’t watch the “Surviving R. Kelly” series. I saw about fifteen minutes of it. Those poor women are talking about some very heavy emotional, physical and psychological abuse. That should NOT be ignored. And from what I can tell, he’s been accused multiple times over the last 25 years but has NEVER been convicted of any sexual offense. I think that in itself says something. So, I wanted to look at the man’s behavior and well, see what I could see…so to speak. So, here we go.
At the start of the interview Kelly sits down in his chair. As they slap the clapperboard he lets out a deep sigh as he looks up towards the ceiling, almost rolling his eyes. Then, once he’s seated, he has his hands folded in his lap and he’s sitting forward, more on the edge of the chair. He’s leaning slightly forward toward Gayle as if he’s interested in the conversation about to take place but the look on his face appeared to be one of sadness and, he even seemed annoyed about being there.
Then the questions start. Gayle King asked him directly, “Have you ever had sex with anyone under the age of seventeen?”
“No. No.”, Kelly replies. However, at the very moment he speaks he goes from shaking his head ‘No’ to some sort of weird head roll of sorts. It’s like he wants to nod ‘Yes’ but he’s consciously trying not to.
Then, when King is recounting some of the victims allegations about the rooms they were forced to stay in, that they were dark and demeaning, one gal said it was the most degrading place she had ever been. Kelly actually has to pull his lips into his mouth and press down on them with his teeth to keep from smiling. And just to add insult to injury, he shrugs nonchalantly as he denies these allegations.
Shortly after this we are told that Kelly had been arrested and spent a few days in jail at one point for, get this, not paying child support. He owed an ex $161,000 in back support and somehow, this music industry superstar doesn’t have what should be considered pocket change to pay for his children. I found this to be extremely telling. I mean, what is this clown doing with his money, besides spending it on the two current girlfriends and a crap-ton of lawyers?
Next, when asked why all these women over the past two decades would be making these accusations against him, his only response was that they are scorned and angry that “things” didn’t work out and now they are “lyin’ on him”. So, Gayle takes the opportunity to, shall we say, clarify things. King says to Kelly, “So, they’re lying on you?”
Kelly replies, “Absolutely.” It wasn’t so much the finality of the word “absolutely” that made me question his veracity. It was that while he was speaking the word so adamantly, he was again shaking his head ‘NO’. Now, it fascinates me that this guy can’t seem to get his body language to coordinate with his speech. Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that he IS guilty. Keep in mind he has not been proven guilty of any sex crime in any court other than that of public opinion. If we assume that he did in fact assault and brutalize these women, that means he’s had years, two decades in fact, to master the art of lying about his dirty deeds. And yet, this man can’t hardly make one statement without his tone of voice or body language betraying him. In addition, throughout the whole interview he seems to become repeatedly exacerbated and puts his head in his hand and rubs his face. It’s an act of frustration and annoyance. We’ve all done it. Imagine those times you feel you are talking to someone who is receiving your information as if they were a brick wall. That’s how he acts. As if he is the only person that can understand his plight.
This leads me to my next observation. Shortly after he claims all of these women are lying and are scorned females (which I’ll address in a few minutes because to me that is a “non-denial denial”, an admission of sorts in the world of investigative journalism, if you will), Kelly leans in towards Gayle and in response to something she asks he says, “Listen to me clear”. Okay, could he be anymore condescending? Not to mention trying to be innocuously aggressive and somewhat controlling, he talks to this professional grown woman as if she is someone that is supposed to answer to him. He immediately takes a position of authority and tries to flaunt it in front of her.
Then, comes the big outburst. This was one of the most telling moments in the entire interview. Robert gets incredibly frustrated and launches himself from his chair as he rants angrily at the camera. He is pacing back and forth, violently pounding his chest and screaming so loud that his voice becomes high pitched and broken. He sounds like he is crying. The whole time he is coming unglued, Gayle is leaning far back in her chair, as if she’s wanting to get away from him. She tries to talk to him and tell him to calm down but, in his current state of upset, he doesn’t hear her or doesn’t pay attention.
His crisis manager steps in and gets him seated, although Kelly pushes even his own guy off of him and snaps angrily at him (it’s a sad thing in your career when you need a crisis manager on retainer to follow you around and keep you and your life in check). Once he finally settles down, and the camera zooms in, you can clearly see that although he is sweating like he has been running a marathon, there are NO tears. Kelly then starts talking about how there are REAL women out there that are REAL victims and that the authorities and everyone should be focusing on THEM. So, that brings me to his “non-denial denial”. Earlier he said that these women were all scorned and lying because “things didn’t work out” between them. To me, that’s an admission of a relationship, which he vehemently denies EVER happened in the first place at the start of the interview. Now, how can they be scorned lovers if they were never in a relationship to begin with? Tsk tsk tsk Robert.
There’s another small sideways rant Kelly goes on in an effort to distract viewers from the subject at hand. He spends a number of minutes portraying himself as a true victim of circumstance. He spends a lot of time spinning words and side-stepping verbal landmines, things that are a matter of public record such as the fact that Aaliyah was only fifteen years old to his twenty-seven when they married. That’s pretty much a felony in any state.
Kelly also seems to have a really hard time making true eye contact with Gayle King when answering her questions. It’s not like these are hard questions. Well, they wouldn’t be hard if 1)You were telling the truth and 2)If you hadn’t done anything illegal. He looks down and to the left a lot. I’m not going to speculate whether he’s remembering or creating things just by the direction he’s focusing his eyes however, the mere fact that he does NOT maintain eye contact during such a serious conversation leaves room for doubt as to whether or not he is telling the truth.
Later in the special, King makes a comment about how people have suggested that Kelly has a “cult” of sorts, like a harem. Kelly not only denies this but, he denies even knowing what a cult is saying, “I don’t even really know what a cult is but, I know I don’t have one.”
How do you know you don’t have something if you don’t even know what it is? This guy has been around for a long time, he has made tons of money (even though his current net worth is only estimated to be about $100,000 because of “legal troubles”) and I assume she can read and write because he is a musician. It’s not like cults are a new thing that just recently popped up. They’ve been around for a while. He can’t TRULY be THAT dense.
Moving on, because I get aggravated when people play stupid to avoid accountability. The special had a segment where they interviewed his two current live-in girlfriends. They seemed healthy enough. I couldn’t see any bruises or signs of abuse except that both of these girls sounded extremely rehearsed seeing as how they each said almost the exact same thing.
Another thing I noticed is that Robert was constantly asking for clarification about if Gayle was talking about him and if the cameras were on. Seriously? First of all, who else would she be talking about, this is a Gayle King interview with R. Kelly about R. Kelly. Again, is he really that dense? And yes, the cameras are on, you jackass. They are going to try to get every bit of your antics on camera they can. What a fool.
Next, R. Kelly talks about how he thinks it’s strange that no one else is dealing with the same allegations!!! Where the hell has he been??? Living under a rock? Is he not aware that his accusers are part of a huge movement called #MeToo??? He can’t possibly believe he’s the only person in today’s world that has been accused of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior over the last 20+ years. I’m not going to go through the huge list but I think it’s safe to say that if Kelly really believes that he is the only famous person under fires for sexual misconduct then he obviously lives in a bubble that only his ego and vulnerable women can penetrate.
Then, as we are afforded the magnificent opportunity to listen to him talk about how wonderful he is (and obviously how much in love with himself he is), we find out that not only does he fully believe that the only effect years of sexual abuse has had on him is the ability to channel the emotion into his music but, we also find out that he considers himself to be a lover of ALL women.
Gayle takes a moment to address the two decades of allegations, specifically those from the past and past court cases and Kelly says, “I beat my case.” I found this response interesting. Most innocent people would say something like “I was found not guilty” or “I was acquitted” or even “I won that case”. No. He chooses the word “beat”. That implies, to me, that he beat the system, got away with something. It just seems like an odd choice of words. I hear defeat, conquer, overpower. Not innocent. It sounds like a guilty person saying “the State didn’t prove their case so, I’m not guilty.”
Gayle King also asks him what the problem is, why so many women seem to find him so unlikeable. Robert maintains the problem is that he’s likeable, not unlikeable. There’s that ego popping out again, rearing its ugly head. That ego is probably one of his biggest problems and probably gets him into trouble the most, other than his mouth. He seems to have little to no filter between his brain and his mouth.
By the end of the interview, as Gayle King is winding things down and thanking him for showing up, Kelly looks like he’s been put the wringer. He looks sad, depressed, worn out and defeated…almost beaten down even. I will say the only time I saw REAL TEARS were when Gayle asked him about his children. At that point, he seemed genuine and heartbroken that he didn’t have the kind of relationship with his kids that he wanted to have.
Now, I don’t know if he’s guilty or not. Frankly, we will probably never REALLY know the truth. Based on his behavior in THIS interview, I lean towards him being guilty of SOMETHING. I don’t know what. But, if he ISN’T guilty, I am having a hard time figuring out what all these women are going to get out of coming forward, humiliating themselves, putting their personal and private lives and intimate secrets out for the world to know other than them seeking justice. He has no money. And even if he did, I think he’s made it pretty clear that he’s not very willing to part with his funds. So what do they stand to gain? No one wants to be known and famous for being one of the many girls R. Kelly violated. That’s not the claim to fame that most people aim for. And the girls’ parents maintain they’ve received no money from Kelly.
I’m not ready to render a final judgement on this man’s actions and maybe I never will be. But if he’s looking for sympathy from the court of public opinion, he did himself NO FAVORS by appearing on that Gayle King interview.