Gayle King’s big interview with R. Kelly got plaudits from all over this week, including from Fox News, where The Five co-host Jesse Watters praised the CBS This Morning host for staying calm as the singer and accused child rapist ranted and raved in her face. There was one problem, however.
“Hats off to Gayle King for totally redeeming herself after the Smollett fiasco,” Watters said. His co-host Dana Perino had to correct him. It was Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts who interviewed actor Jussie Smollett after his alleged attack. “Oh, I knew that,” he said before ultimately apologizing for the mix-up.
“Were you happy to hear that Fox News’ Jesse Watters gave you props for this interview after that Jussie Smollett interview you did?” Stephen Colbert asked King during her Late Show victory lap Thursday night.
“Oh my gosh, Stephen,” King said, adding that she only knew about the incident when people starting sending it to her because she normally doesn’t watch Fox News. After that segment aired, she got ahold of Dana Perino’s email and thanked her for correcting Watters.
“I said, ‘Hi, just wanted to thank you for letting your colleague know that Robin Roberts and I—it was a great compliment, but thank you for letting him know that we’re two different people,” King told Colbert. Then, she asked Perino, “Can you let the rest of your colleagues know that all black people don’t look alike?”
Earlier in the interview, King told Colbert that the reason she sat there so quietly as R. Kelly stood up and started screaming was because she was worried if she made any sudden movements he may have walked out of the interview.
“I never thought that he was going to hurt me or hit me,” she said. “What I was worried about is that he was flailing and hitting his fists so violently that I thought he could accidentally hit me. But I never thought that he wanted to hurt me in any way.”