*Gayle King is speaking out about R. Kelly’s September sex trafficking and racketeering trial, calling his guilty verdict “justice.”
“The judge said some of the evidence was so disgusting and despicable that they wouldn’t even allow it to be played in court,” King said in an interview published Tuesday by Bustle. “Let’s just say part of the evidence involved feces. Let’s just say that. It was so stomach-churning.”
Kelly was convicted in September for racketeering and sex crimes against women, girls and boys in a federal case in Brooklyn. In opening statements, Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez, the lead prosecutor in the case, blasted him as a “predator” who “used his money, his clout, and his public persona to hide his crimes in plain sight.”
Over several weeks, prosecutors brought more than 40 witnesses to testify about Kelly. The witnesses included women and men who described how Kelly directed them to have sex with him and each other, and how the singer obsessively took videos of every sexual encounter.
During the trial, a woman identified as Jane Doe testified in court that R. Kelly had complete control of his interview with Gayle King in 2019 for CBS. The woman said the singer would cough to direct her and another victim to support his claims that he didn’t sexually assault them.
King also interviewed Kelly at the time, who infamously exploded and erupted in tears while discussing the allegations leveled against him.
“My heart aches for [the victims] because I know how painful this has been,” King told Bustle. “To us, this is a news story, but for them, this is life. And I feel sorry that for so many women, it took this long.”
After Kelly’s guilty verdict in Brooklyn, his ex-girlfriend reunited with King for the first time since their “CBS This Morning” two years ago.
“For five years, since I was 17, I didn’t have any relationships with any other women except for the women that he had been intimate with,” said Azriel Clary, who testified against Kelly during his September trial.
“When I did that interview with you, I instantly regretted immediately how I reacted. … ‘Why am I acting like this? Why am I putting myself through all of this misery? Why am I exploiting myself for a man who has me in this position in the first place?’ And I really had to come to terms and realize that it wasn’t love. Love doesn’t hurt, you know?”
R. Kelly faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2022.
He is facing similar sex crimes charges in Illinois and Minnesota.