The one hour special, King told viewers, “has to do with violence, privilege, and the rights of women. It has to do with the behavior of public figures.”
“You may have already see some of my interview with R. Kelly, but you haven’t seen it all. Not yet,” she assured viewers.
The special included a lot more background, for those viewers not so familiar with the singer and the various charges he has faced over the years.
“He is famous for the music he has given us and famous for allegations he sexually abused women and young girls for more than two decades,” King explained.
As the special aired, Kelly also was in jail for failure to pay child support to his former wife, who he owes $161K.
Among the new moments from the interview,
Kelly referred to the accusations against him as “rumors” and part of an agenda driven by money, and people determined to take him down.
King scolded him for “yukking it up at McDonalds” after he got out on bail.
“That M stands for ‘mom’,” he shot back. “That’s my story today.”
When he got out of jail, he said, he wanted to get a Big Mac, fries and a coke, so he went to McDonalds and ate. “What is the crime in that?” he asked.
In the Lifetime documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, the singer is accused of preying on young girls he spots in places like McDonalds and at malls, using his popularity to lure them in.
Some of his accusers called him abusively controlling, saying they had to ask permission to eat, use the bathroom, leave the bedroom.
“I’m not a controlling person,” he told King during their 80-minute interview.
“It’s just that I am in control of my household. If you live with me, I consider myself the king of the castle and you’re the queen,” he said.
At another point in the interview, Kelly insisted what he is going through “could happen to any artist, anybody famous.”
King pointed out the obvious: many famous artists have gone their whole lives without having these kinds of accusations leveled at them.
“You don’t find that strange?” Kelly asked.
In other new material from the interview, King reminded Kelly he has said he is a sex abuse survivor, and asked if that has affected his behavior.
“Absolutely not,” he said, speaking volumes.
He described his songs as “freaky” and “very sexual.”
But, when King added that “people call it pornographic,” he seemed stunned.
“What? My songs? I never heard that.”
In one of the most compelling exchanges, King asked him, after he’d claimed all his accusers are liars, “What makes you so special they want to tell a lie about you – or, what makes you so unlikable?”
Kelly said the problem is he is so “likable.” His accusers, he said, are trying to get back at him “because things didn’t work out.”
In the Lifetime documentary, he said, “these girls were older, they were 20 years ago, 15 years ago,” adding, “Why now? Why would they come out now?”
That left King having to explain #MeToo to the 52-year-old singer.
Women “now feel comfortable speaking out, and they now believe they will be believed,” she described.
“It’s a different time, Robert. And people feel more comfortable about speaking out now,” she added.
Responded Kelly, “What do you mean?”