Gayle King Held R. Kelly’s Feet to the Fire. But CBS Shouldn’t Have Interviewed His ‘Girlfriends’

R. Kelly didn’t exactly vindicate himself in this week’s much-discussed interview with Gayle King. In a conversation excerpted on CBS This Morning in advance of Friday’s primetime special The Gayle King Interview With R. Kelly, the R&B superstar and alleged serial abuser yelled, cried, leapt to his feet, denied ever having sex with a woman younger than 17 and accused the parents of his current so-called girlfriends of extortion. As Kelly was detained in Chicago for failing to pay $ 161,000 in child support, late-night hosts and social media had a field day with the bizarre footage.

All that ridicule has largely overshadowed King’s additional sit-down with the two women who currently live with Kelly, 21-year-old Azriel Clary and 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage. During that interview, they offered a calmer, more poised defense of the singer that I nonetheless found more chilling than Kelly’s temper tantrum. In a clip that aired Thursday on This Morning, the women more or less invert the rigorously vetted accounts of Kelly’s dozens of accusers, framing their lives with him as an escape from evil parents. They explain that they’re both Kelly’s girlfriends, that they’re in love with the 52-year-old musician and that the three of them function as a “family.” When King asks whether that three-way bond extends into the bedroom, Clary refuses to respond: “I would never share with anyone what I do in or outside of the bedroom,” she snaps. “And as a woman, I’m sure you would not either.” Both women claim that their parents want to extract money from Kelly. Clary maintains that when she was 17, her mom and dad tried “to get me to take photos with him, take sexual videos with him” because “they said if they ever had to blackmail him—what they’re trying to do now—they can use it against him.”

In the video, Savage and Clary seem to have little in common with the meek, battered victims we usually see in fictional depictions of domestic abuse; they come off as confident, healthy and well spoken. Dressed conservatively, Clary in all black and Savage in a red pantsuit, they could work at a law firm. If you hadn’t seen woman after woman speak out about their harrowing experiences with Kelly in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly or otherwise followed the charges leveled at him over the last two decades, from domestic violence to emotional abuse to statutory rape, you could come away from the interview open to the possibility that three adults were being persecuted simply for carrying on an unusual but ultimately consensual relationship.

To their credit, King and CBS have provided context for the story. Following the clip of Clary and Savage’s interview, King said that both women’s parents denied seeking or receiving money from Kelly. She recounted to her This Morning co-hosts how he stood just outside the room throughout her conversation with the women, coughing loudly in an ostensible effort to make his presence felt. CBS cited medical records disputing a claim Clary made, that pressure from her parents to launch a singing career drove her to attempt suicide. On Friday, This Morning aired a wrenching interview in which Savage’s parents tell King their very different side of the story. Though short on previously unseen footage from King’s dialogues, the primetime special did incorporate the voices of Kelly’s accusers, of Surviving R. Kelly executive producer dream hampton and of Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago journalist who has been investigating these allegations since 2000.

To do any less would have constituted journalistic malpractice. But that doesn’t mean that this week’s news cycle has done right by Kelly’s accusers. By airing the conversation King had with Clary and Savage while he was within earshot—and doing so without the insight of psychologists and other experts on abusive relationships that added such crucial context to Surviving R. Kelly—CBS gave weight to their defenses of a man whom many believe brainwashed them into submission. Watching the women plead his case, my mind turned to HBO’s Leaving Neverland and the post-show discussion King’s best friend Oprah moderated with the Michael Jackson accusers it profiled, James Safechuck and Wade Robson. These men, who say the pop icon started abusing them before they hit puberty, not only kept that trauma to themselves for decades but publicly defended Jackson as young adults.

Perhaps Kelly didn’t put words in Savage and Clary’s mouths; maybe they really do feel love for him. As Robson and Safechuck tell it, they grew up thinking of their relationships with a rich, powerful and widely revered musician as love stories, too. “Michael trained me and forced me to tell the lie for so many years, and particularly on the [witness] stand,” Robson told Oprah. “And those were really traumatizing experiences for me that had a huge impact on the rest of my life.” Safechuck admitted to feeling guilty about coming forward even after Jackson’s death. Just before going public with his accusations, he recalled feeling like he’d disappointed the late star.

It’s hard to imagine the highly subjective counter-narrative Kelly, Clary and Savage put forth this week destroying the momentum Surviving R. Kelly and the reams of investigative reporting that preceded it have built up—and I realize that Kelly is pretty much the worst possible advocate for himself at this point. But even as some of us continue to marvel at Kelly’s histrionics, I hope we’ll also come to understand that victims still in thrall to their abuser don’t tend to be reliable narrators.


Entertainment – TIME

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Tichina Arnold Gets Dragged For Insinuating That Black Folks Shouldn’t Turn Their Backs On Black Men Like R. Kelly

2016 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - Day 2

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Another day, another one of our favorite “aunties” having a hard time holding famous Black men like R. Kelly accountable.

Last time it was Taraji P. Henson and Erykah Badu and now it’s Tichina Arnold’s turn to get dragged.

See on Thursday morning, the “Martin” actress got some serious side-eye for suggesting that it’s important for Black people to uphold one another up, regardless of their guilt or actions.

“*Its disturbing to watch black ppl pounce on other black ppl when they are already down..guilty or not, but when it comes to holding others races accountable for their horrific actions, I hear crickets,” the actress and singer wrote on Twitter.

“Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Operate through love & compassion.”

While she never mentioned the Pied Piper by name, it can be assumed given all the media coverage he’s received lately along with his 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving three minors, that the actress is talking about him.

Whatever the case, this way of thinking is what’s truly “disturbing.” Miss me with this love, intention and honestly when you have none for his victims and their families. Most importantly, it’s hard to forgive and want healing for men who refuse to admit their guilt and continue to act a damn fool in public.



Honestly, it’s heartbreaking to continue to watch Black folks, especially Black women, continue to push this narrative that holding a Black man that harms Black women and girls accountable is somehow anti-Black. It’s manipulative, harmful and counterproductive.

So is this idea that until we persecute white men like Harvey Weinstein or institutions like the Catholic Church first (which has already been done), we shouldn’t focus so much on the predators within our community.

This exact thinking, this protect “Black men by any means of necessary” mantra, is what continues to perpetuate rape culture in Black America and helps cover and protect predators. It also send the message to Black women and girls that their lives and bodies don’t matter, especially if their abusers are Black men.

Enough is enough!

Thankfully, I’m alone on this one. Black Twitter clapped back and had some choice words for Ms. Pam.

Entertainment – Black America Web

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Federal contract worker: We shouldn’t have to suffer for a wall

CNN’s Don Lemon speaks with 63-year-old Donna Kelly, who works as security guard for the Smithsonian about the impact of the partial government shutdown.


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A Job Shouldn’t Rule Your Life. Here’s How to Find Fulfillment Outside Work

Throughout history, our sources of purpose have shifted. First, our purpose was simply to survive. Then we built families and embraced religion. But now, we increasingly look to our jobs as a source of meaning.

And who could blame us? Our society idolizes people like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, who romanticize work and tell us to do what we love. But according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, that’s led us to a point where Americans are highly isolated and unhappy.

Looking to our jobs for purpose is risky business, says Jeremy Smith, an expert on purpose and an editor for the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center magazine.

“The problem with finding a sense of purpose in a job is that you can get fired,” Smith says. “It’s really that simple. Most employment is conditional.”

Despite this, members of Generation Y (aka millennials) — now the largest generation in the workforce — look to their jobs for meaning at a higher rate than previous generations, according to Gallup research.

The lines between work and life are getting blurred, explains Nate Dvorak, a researcher for Gallup and an expert on well-being. Millennials increasingly want to work for a company that invests in them as employees and as people, in a holistic sense.

But in most cases, they’re not finding it.

In that context, it’s easy to see the disconnect, or as Smith likes to call it, the “crisis of purpose.”

Aaron Castillo, a content strategist for a marketing company in Florida, exemplifies most of Gallup’s findings to a T. Like most of Gen Y, he struggles to find a sense of purpose in his day job. Most days, he does the number-crunching side of marketing, but he much prefers creative work, especially videography and photography. Those opportunities are few and far between.

How to Find Your Purpose Outside Your Job

An important part of finding a sense of purpose is to diversify your sources. Then, your purpose isn’t attached too heavily on any one thing, especially not a job that is at the whims of the economy or a tyrannical boss.

Dvorak says that jobs are indeed important, but there are several other factors to overall well-being to consider. He warns against putting too much emphasis on one element.

“Well-being is more about life evaluation,” he says. “Not just happiness. Not just satisfaction.”

Gallup defines well-being using these five main factors:

  • Purpose (Enjoying what you do every day. Jobs can be a big part of this one.)
  • Social (Having supportive and loving relationships.)
  • Financial (Managing your money so you can live a less stressful life.)
  • Community (Feeling safe and having pride in where you live.)
  • Physical (Being healthy and energetic enough to do what you want.)

As you can see, the majority of well-being has little to do with your day job.

Smith notes that we can also tap into “human capacities” to live more meaningful lives — capacities such as social connection, awe, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, mindfulness and empathy.  

With both Gallup and the Greater Good Science Center research on the aspects on well-being in mind, there are plenty of practical ways to find a sense of meaning outside the office. Here are a few.

Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

Young adults hang out at a bar

Social well-being is something Americans struggle with. While we have hundreds, if not thousands, of friends on social media, we lack genuine, deep connections with one another.

“By many, many measures,” Smith says, “Americans are more isolated than they have been in the past.”

And he isn’t referring to romantic relationships. This spans the gamut. Friendships, families and partnerships are all areas we need to actively cultivate a more meaningful connection.

Dvorak suggests that the lack of connection could be because millennials are focusing too much on their careers and not enough on friends and family.

“Social well-being is not about a number of friends you have. It’s about the quality of friends you have,” he says.

So the next time you’re socializing, think twice about immediately responding when your phone buzzes. I promise, the notification will be there later.

Volunteer for a Cause You Like

Volunteering is a great way to add fulfillment to your life, and it certainly develops human capacities like compassion and empathy. It also allows you to develop new skills and try new things that have nothing to do with your professional life.

In the Greater Good Science Center’s Greater Good magazine, Smith writes that altruism is one such way to have a greater sense of purpose.

When Castillo reached the point where his job didn’t feel fulfilling, he turned to a local volunteer organization that focused on keeping the Tampa Bay community clean, a cause more personal than professional. Cleaning up beaches helped him find a greater sense of community. And suddenly his world was a little bigger. The boring days at work didn’t mean so much.

But sometimes it’s hard to find time to volunteer.

To combat your scheduling woes, Dvorak  proposes “double dipping,” i.e. combining multiple aspects of well-being into one activity. So don’t just volunteer alone. Rally your friends and family to your local food pantry or run a 5K race that raises money for your favorite charity.

Join a Professional Group

Smith makes a clear distinction between your job and your work. Jobs are temporary, he says. Even if you’re lucky enough to have the same one for 40 years, it’s still temporary. But your work is a greater cause.

So if you aren’t happy with your current job, but you do enjoy the sense of work or the field that you’re in, professional groups can be fulfilling on multiple levels.

A nonprofit, professional advertising organization for Gen Y called Ad 2 Tampa Bay helps Castillo balance out those number-crunching days at his marketing job. It allows him to pursue the creative side of advertising, and it sharpened his videography and photography skills.

He was able to bring that fresh set of skills back to his day job and incorporate more creativity at work.

There’s also the hugely important social aspect of professional organizations.

“One of the primary reason for me joining Ad 2 in the first place was because I didn’t know anyone in the field,” Castillo says. “It seemed like a good way to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people and experience new things.”

Start a New Hobby or Nurture a Passion Project

Depending on which hobby or project you choose, you can support several aspects of well-being simultaneously. Hobbies like rock climbing or CrossFit support physical and social well-being for sure, but Smith highly recommends reading and writing.

He notes that social isolation can lead to a lack of meaning, but these solitary activities are big exceptions. They actually increase the human capacities mentioned above.

For example, reading can foster insight and empathy by introducing you to someone you would have never met otherwise. And writing, especially about your own experiences and life, can help you find a sense of meaning.

“Try turning [your life] into a story with a beginning, a middle and an end,” Smith says. “That can allow you to project your story out into the future.”

Reframe Your Mindset About Your Job

A sign in New York City reads:

If you’re like me, you may put a little too much emphasis on the work category of your overall well-being. Whether you love or hate your job, it’s easy to get caught up in it and have the issues of the day or month or year follow you home.

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. A bad work environment when I lived in South Korea would have tainted my whole perception of the country if I had let it. On the other hand, there have been instances where I get so amped about a project that I forget to eat dinner. By the time I put my laptop down, it’s bedtime.

Neither example is a good place to be consistently.

To redistribute some of the importance that you place on your job into other areas like physical or social well-being, you can reframe how you view it.

“I think the important thing is not what your external circumstances are, but how you feel about those circumstances,” Smith says, noting that it’s entirely possible to be in prison and have a strong sense of purpose. “As long as you have enough to eat and a roof over your head, there’s hope.”

Similar to writing about your life story, this mindset can help bring a bigger perspective to your life.

“Why do we have jobs? We have jobs so that we can make money and pay the rent and eat,” Smith says. “Unhitch… your self-esteem from your job.”

In other words, view your job as a paycheck that allows you to enjoy the other aspects of your life, not as a main source of fulfillment itself.

Practice Mindfulness

A woman meditates in her bedroom

Research shows that mindfulness has several benefits. Sometimes those benefits are exaggerated. But we do know that when done properly, mindfulness can help increase your attention, improve your mental health and positively affect your relationships, among several other things.

But Smith warns against “self-destructive” perceptions of mindfulness. For example, some people think that isolating yourself on top of a mountain is a good way to reach enlightenment. But that could actually have negative effects (beyond the dangers of, you know, slipping and falling to certain death).

“Even monks who take a vow of silence for decades have a connection to a monastery,” he says. “That path to enlightenment is oftentimes connected to a larger religious organization.”

As you incorporate some (or none) of these suggestions, it’s important to keep in mind that this list is in no way definitive. These are merely examples of activities to increase your chances of overall well-being.

So get creative and come up with activities of your own that fit your schedule.

“There’s not a certain amount of boxes to check on your road to purpose. People can take many different paths,” Smith says. “The important thing is you’re really listening to your life… listening and responding to it.”

Adam Hardy is an editorial assistant on the Make Money team at The Penny Hoarder. He lives off a diet of stale puns and iced coffee. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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‘Bond King’ Jeffrey Gundlach says the Fed shouldn’t raise interest rates this week

DoubleLine Capital founder and CEO Jeffrey Gundlach spoke with CNBC's Scott Wapner in Los Angeles on Monday.
Economy

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Parents shouldn’t worry if their infant doesn’t sleep through the night by a year old

The authors of a study found that a large percentage of healthy babies don’t start sleeping through the night even at a year old. The research team also examined whether infants who didn’t sleep for six or eight consecutive hours were more likely to have problems with psychomotor and mental development, and found no association. The researchers also found no correlation between infants waking up at night and their mothers’ postnatal mood.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Pete Davidson Joked About His Split From Ariana Grande

Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, SNLIs all fair in love and post-break-up art?
That is the question when it comes to Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s recent split, as the two 24-year-olds are now navigating the rocky…

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