Body Language Expert Analyzes ‘Frightening’ Interview With R. Kelly

R. Kelly's explosive interview with Gayle King may have even more frightening implications than one might think at first glance.

R. Kelly performs onstage during R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons at the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
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R. Kelly's explosive interview with Gayle King may have even more frightening implications than one might think at first glance.

R. Kelly’s explosive interview with Gayle King may have even more frightening implications than one might think at first glance, Yahoo is reporting. The interview, which aired on March 6, had King question Kelly about the multiple allegations of sexual assault made against him. This resulted in Kelly getting heated — he stood, screamed, and cried throughout the interview. According to body language expert Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma, Kelly was actually preparing to fight at one point.

“I need to state the obvious that this is not normal… His disregard for her and the fact that he doesn’t see or notice her, as well as of his lack of composure is in itself frightening,” said Wood about Kelly’s interaction with King during the outburst.

Woods says it was clear from the beginning that Kelly was a “rule-breaker” — even before he had lost his temper. The R&B singer violated typical interview etiquette multiple times by raising his voice, imparting subtle micro-facial cues, and offering up “sharp-edged” gestures. These gestures are performed more and more as the interview goes on, and as Kelly gets angrier. King, for her part, kept her composure in the face of the tantrum, garnering lots of praise from social media users. Woods points out that King stutters at one point, as well as “draw[s] back and blink[s] multiple times.” This gave Woods a glimpse of how upset King actually was behind her cool appearance. Still, King kept her composure, which put an emphasis on just how wild Kelly was acting.

Woods feels it’s important to note that Kelly beats his chest at one point, something which is known as an “alpha signal.” This gesture is said to be a limbic response that indicates that Kelly felt “attacked” — and was preparing to fight back. Woods also says that Kelly’s facial expressions kept flitting back and forth between anger and anguish. The alternating emotions could be showing that Kelly was trying to “suppress” his actual pain with his anger.

Woods also happens to specialize in deception detection, and the obvious question would be if she could tell if Kelly’s denial of the allegations was honest. Woods found his response to King’s question about holding anyone hostage to be particularly notable.

“He does not reply immediately, instead he bridges to a non-response to the question, ‘how stupid would I have to be to do that?'” Woods points out. “Not answering the question directly is telling.”