Gayle King caught her ex cheating when she came home early from a trip with their kids

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Everyone is talking about Gayle King’s interview with Oprah because Gayle talked about getting dragged for daring to question Kobe’s legacy. Gayle described the pain of being threatened and bullied, and I think she handled that situation very well. My favorite quote from her about that is this one, “we can disagree, and you can be mad at me even, but you can’t speak to me the way I was spoken to and threatened.” Exactly. While some may wonder why she would bring up that question so soon, she received a lot of vitriol for it that wasn’t warranted. Plus a lot of people were feeling that way and she gave voice to them, particularly victims. That’s all I want to say about that.

In that interview for Oprah’s Visionary Tour, available on YouTube, Gayle actually told a crazy story that I hadn’t heard from her before. She talked about finding her ex husband in bed at home with another woman (whom she knew and who was also married) when she came home early from a trip with her kids. She also opened up about her ex wanting her to dim her light, and how she tried to please him by turning down career opportunities. (I didn’t include that part below, but you can see it on the video.) Gayle was married to William Bumpus from 1982 to 1993 and they have two children together, Kirby, 33, and William Bumpus Jr., 32. It sounds like divorcing William is what finally allowed her to shine. Here’s some of what she told Oprah and thanks to Madame Noir for transcribing this conversation. Gayle had actually reconciled with her husband before this and Oprah told her it wouldn’t last!

She had reconciled with her husband and caught him in bed with someone else
Gayle: This was in the days before cell phones and the airline used call and say ‘Your flight is canceled but we can get you on a flight if you leave right now.’ So I threw the kids in the car, we rushed to the airport. I came home, actually a day early. He wasn’t expecting to see me and I wasn’t expecting to see her.

She was married and they were friends of ours.

Oprah said she knew but Gayle didn’t suspect
Gayle: You how they tell you the wife always knows, the wife always suspects? I had no clue, whatsoever.

Oprah: Well, I did. The clue was when I was at your house and the phone rang and the woman on the other end asks to speak to her husband. And I happen to answer the phone and when her husband gets to the phone, he said, ‘Nobody’s there.’ Now, I ain’t stupid. Somebody was there and asked to speak to him in a very nice voice too.

Gayle: If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, it would have been explained away. They were both nude, by the way. So I even had to see that. But if they had been sitting there fully clothed, they could have said ‘We were talking.’ But it did have to be that graphic, that’s absolutely true. So I pay attention to all whispers at all times.

Oprah: It was a terrible moment and anybody who has been betrayed that way, in your own home, you know how that destroys your spirit. How it shatters you. So if anybody’s gonna cheat, don’t bring the person to your house. That is the most disrespectful thing you can do. But in spite of that, you were the kind of mother who never said anything negative around your children, who wanted their father to still be engaged in their life and made it possible for him to still be in their life. Why?

Gayle: Yes! I think you have to love your children more than you’re mad at him. Also nobody wants to hear, ‘You know what he did to me?’ Nobody really cares, except your closest friends and even they get tired of hearing it. As much as you dislike him, you have to find a way to navigate that. I’m happy to say that we can actually be friends and have a civil conversation. I’m very proud of that actually.

[From Youtube transcribed by Madame Noire]

It turns out that Gayle did talk about this before. In a 2016 Vanity Fair interview she was asked whom she most despises and she said “I’m not a huge fan of the woman who I caught naked with my now ex-husband on June 24, 1990, at 9:16 p.m., but I don’t remember the details.” Oh damn! Her ex apologized after that, saying he was haunted by “this life altering choice,” and that “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Gayle and how she handled herself with grace. Despite the situation, she kept our children, as well as my relationship and involvement with them, as a clear priority.” That’s what Gayle told Oprah too, that she kept their kids in mind. That was very classy and what I would expect from her. You know who this reminds me of, whom I think of when considering women acting gracefully in the wake of their husbands cheating? Elin Woods. My god the stories that woman must be able to tell, but she kept super quiet, she prioritized her kids and Tiger called her one of his best friends afterwards.

Getting back to Gayle and Oprah, I love how Oprah was like “I knew but I didn’t say anything.” Gayle needed that slap in the face of finding her ex nude in bed with someone in order to see the truth so clearly.

Here’s that interview! They also talk about their friendship, which Oprah says is just a part of their lives. They also ripped on each other’s fashion and styling and joked about the rumors that they’re gay. That was really sweet and funny. Oprah also gifted Gail a nanny when her kids were young. Also I love Gail’s dress so much and want it.

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17 Responses to “Gayle King caught her ex cheating when she came home early from a trip with their kids”

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  1. Joanna says:

    Wonderful to have such a long friendship like theirs.

  2. minx says:

    LOVE Gayle’s dress—her shoes, too, although I could never wear them.

  3. Lisa says:

    The utter disrespect to not only cheat on your wife in your bed but to top it off have it be an acquaintance. Her ex is absolute trash.

  4. Jess says:

    I love their friendship, they are true soulmates in my opinion. I can’t think of one without the other and I can picture them growing old together like the golden girls:)

  5. Lucy2 says:

    I love their friendship too, I’m glad it’s lasted so long, even with Oprah‘s career skyrocketing early on as it did. I’m really glad that Gayle is having such success too. I don’t think they would be where they are today without each other.
    That cheating story, ugh. Her ex is lucky she knew to love the kids more.

  6. sherry says:

    I really respect Gayle as a person and a journalist. Shes so intelligent. Yos know you’re in good hands when she interviews someone.

  7. buenavissta says:

    Ugh. I respect her grace. I have certainly not behaved so graciously in the recent implosion of my own marriage. I’ve avoided commenting on other stories of this nature as I forgave my wretched ex 3 times for infidelity and I feel like an utter moron for doing so. I believe in forgiveness, I believe all humans mess up and are mostly worthy of a chance to redeem themselves, myself included. I still believe that, but I will never tolerate cheating ever again. I will say that he has not managed to shatter my spirit and that is largely due to the strength and loyalty of my Loving Army of friends and family. These are the people that are always there in the face of adversity and tragedy and upheaval and I am so SO SO grateful.
    Friends, listen to your friends. None of my besties were ever 100% into him and I will NEVER EVER disregard their concerns again. They stood by my choice for 21 years and 2 kids and ended up being right about him.
    If nothing else, I have one hell of a story to tell. I’d write a book but no one would believe the batshittery that I have been facing and working through.

    • Jensies says:

      @buenavista oh girl, you’re in a lot of pain. I’m so sorry for what happened to you, because it must have been big. Take care of yourself, prioritize yourself and your healing.

  8. Bibliomommy96 says:

    I love their friendship so much. I’ve known my bff since 1994, we talk on the phone at least 3 times a week, because she is on the east coast, and I am on the west coast. I wish we could see each other more, but we can only afford every 10 years or so. I miss her so much, but I cherish our talks, and love seeing her face pop up on my phone

  9. Love the friendship these two have. I remember years ago — before Gayle was so successful — Oprah saying that Gayle kept her grounded. That having her kind of fame and wealth you needed someone who spoke the truth to you and wasn’t afraid to call you out. I have a lot of respect for both of them and think they are great examples of successful, powerful, caring women who have a strong, honorable sense of truth and community. I remember reading that Vanity Fair article and thinking how amazingly well she responded with that “9:16 pm” quote.

  10. Prof Trelawney says:

    Does anyone remember their cross country road trip? Gayle singing off key loudly ALL THE TIME, Oprah trying to hide under a helmet… Hahaha if they could survive that trip they are indeed BFFs!

  11. Granny says:

    I could have sworn that guy wrote a book about how hard it was to compete with Oprah’s money. I can’t find it anywhere. is Oprah that powerful?

  12. Pineapple says:

    “That guy” was the type of human who would have trouble “competing” with Oprah’s money. I think part of the beauty of this friendship is that it isn’t based on competition but on love and friendship.

  13. Otaku fairy says:

    It was awful to see her getting threatened and called out her name for that. Sometimes the message directed at women in marginalized communities is very much, “You can have causes, but only if you remember that some are more equal than others, and that the feelings of marginalized MEN and not making them look bad always comes first”. It can come from all sides, and the attacks on Gayle are one of the more aggressive examples of that. Usually it’s more subtle.

  14. Natasha says:

    I hate that they have the best friendship ever and Oprah didn’t speak up. I hate when people don’t speak up. I want people to tell me things, try to protect me- and I always tell my friends/family when their significant other is trash. I’m not going to stand by while people I love ruin their lives. I don’t support stupid choices and they shouldn’t either. Yes I’ve lost friends over it, but 99% of those situations I was right about so I don’t regret them, and some friends came back.

    There was one time I didn’t speak up because I listened to others and “minded my own business”- and to this day I feel bad knowing maybe if I spoke up early enough I could have prevented an innocent child being born into total drama and chaos and the horrible life he doesn’t deserve. I think the right thing to do is always speak up.

    • Anonymous says:

      After my parents divorced, my mom married a man who was emotionally abusive and very controlling. Long story short, many years later, after he died, his daughter (who was already grown and married when my mom entered the picture) told my mom that he’d been physically abusive to HER mother (his first wife) and to both his kids. My mom was horrified that his kids never said anything to her — just stood by as she married him and brought two teenagers into his home. (He was never physically abusive with us — but definitely controlling.) Yes, you make your own decisions in life — and to be honest, I’m not sure my mom would have done anything different even if his kids HAD warned her against him — her self-esteem was incredibly low and she was desperate to be married again. But looking back, I can’t believe my step-siblings stayed quiet, knowing what they knew about their father. It seems so irresponsible and strange.

  15. Bobbie says:

    Ok. She’s trying to keep it classy but discussing the most intimate details of her marriage from 20 years ago? Is she trying to humlilate the ex-husband? If I were one of her kids, I’d want her to zip it. TMI.