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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.
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.