Gayle King feared R. Kelly was having a "breakdown" during their sit-down interview but insisted she was never "afraid" of his erratic antics.
The 64-year-old reporter spoke to the disgraced star on "CBS This Morning" in March and won praise for staying calm and composed as the 52-year-old singer - who was charged with multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse shortly before the interview - grew agitated and, at one point, leapt out of his chair and stood over her as he ranted, as she questioned him about the allegations.
However, Gayle has insisted she never felt "afraid" of her guest and her biggest concern was that he would completely unravel on camera.
She said: "I never thought, as jarring as that looks, and as unsettling and certainly disturbing, I never thought he was going to hurt me. I was never afraid.
"I just knew that he was angry, I knew that he was irritated with some of the questions, but I also thought he knew the questions were fair. I was just worried that he would accidentally hit me, the way he was moving all around.