The singer gave a highly emotional interview to CBS on Tuesday; the interviewer was unmoved.
Oprah Winfrey was among the celebs taking to Twitter to praise her very good friend who remained an unflappable pro opposite the singer's histrionics.
"Bravo @GayleKing for calm and and steady focus during #RKelly interview. Outstanding job!," she tweeted Wednesday morning. "Tell @CBSThisMorning we want to see the whole thing."
Oprah was referring to the fact CBS has only showed — so far — less than ten minutes of what was an almost 80-minute long interview.
Ava DuVernay was in agreement: "There’s a lot going on in these R. Kelly clips. But one thing that jumps out is how direct, super clear and no frills these questions are by @GayleKing. She’s asking exactly what most of us would ask if we were in her seat. Crazy how refreshing it is. Speaks to how rare it is."
Yvette Nicole Brown joined the ranks: "Every black woman EVER when faced with the rantings of the abusive, guilty and/or cray. Unbroken. Unbothered. Unbowed. @GayleKing’s Subtext: That’s right, show them, fool."
The A-Team director Jow Carnahan jibed: "Fake sanctimony and forehead clutching is always the sign of a truth-teller."
Civil rights activist Shaun King claimed: "I have met with some of R. Kelly’s victims. The man is lying. I lost count of the lies he told in this interview with Gayle King. It’s in the dozens of lies. He is a disturbing sociopath."
Face The Truth host Areva Martin was unconvinced by the performance: "A lot of drama during the #RKelly interview but does he really think he will convince anyone that he is innocent by accusing parents of playing a role in his abuse. Beyond offensive and narcissistic nonsense!"
There’s a lot going on in these R. Kelly clips. But one thing that jumps out is how direct, super clear and no frills these questions are by @GayleKing. She’s asking exactly what most of us would ask if we were in her seat. Crazy how refreshing it is. Speaks to how rare it is. https://t.co/Pt0ISn32sM— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 6, 2019
Fellow activist DeRay Mckesson opined: "R Kelly isn’t even talking to Gayle so much as he’s talking to the camera. He wants this interview to be another performance. He wasn’t ready for Gayle’s stellar and unflappable style."
Discussing whether or not Kelly was panicking or not, anti-rape activist Wagatwe Wanjuki tweeted: "They're always angry. That's the core of the abuse. They're just very calculating with how and when they unleash it. It isn't about panic. it's a method of manipulation and control. r.kelly didn't like that Gayle was in charge. He took it over by going ballistic."
Michael Rapaport was not the only one drawing comparisons to another recent interview: "Who’s the worse interview actor, R.Kelly or Jussie Smollett?"
Celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom pointed out: "To show how respectful he is to women, R. Kelly screams and rants at Gayle King."
Michael Avenatti, who is representing some of the alleged victims in the case, said he took four things away from the interview.
"1. R Kelly is a much better singer than he is an actor; 2. He is desperate and distraught because he knows he has been caught. 3. He thinks sexual assault of young girls in the “way way past” cannot be charged. 4. He is guilty."
Fake sanctimony and forehead clutching is always the sign of a truth-teller.— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) March 6, 2019
To show how respectful he is to women, R. Kelly screams and rants at Gayle King. https://t.co/pyAGdTAjJU— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) March 6, 2019
Regarding Azriel Clary, one of Kelly's current live-in girlfriends he has been accused of "brainwashing", Avenatti continued: "It is pathetic and disgusting that R Kelly has manipulated these young girls and lied to them about their families. It has been his modus operandi for decades and part of his abuse. Alice and Angelo Clary want only two things from R. Kelly - 1) they want their daughter back & 2) they want him to die in prison for the emotional and physical abuse & assault he has inflicted on their daughter and well over 20 other young girls for nearly 30 yrs. This is not about money. It is about truth and justice."
The parents themselves issued a further statement: "We have never received a penny from R. Kelly. We have never asked R. Kelly for money. And we never 'sold' our daughter to him or anyone else. R. Kelly is a desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls who should die in prison. All of the victims and parents cannot be lying."
During the interview, Kelly insisted he was in a relationship with Clary and Jocelyn Savage; when King asked him "What kind of love is it that keeps these young women away from their families?" he countered: "What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?"
King asked him to clarify: "So you’re saying the parents handed their daughters, Azriel and Jocelyn, to you? Is that what you’re saying?" He replied: "Absolutely."
Kelly is currently out on bail as he faces ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He denies all charges.
In 2002 he was indicted on 13 counts of child pornography, but was acquitted of all charges in 2008.