Gayle King was not having it.
So when the CBS journalist saw rapper-actor 50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson) at a benefit for Bette Midler's foundation years ago, she confronted him about negative comments he'd aimed at her best friend, Oprah Winfrey.
Page Six is reporting the details of the showdown, which it confirms Fiddy reveals in his upcoming self-help book "Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter," which will be released on April 28.
The rapper had publicly dismissed Oprah, Page Six explains. Not only did he name his dog Oprah but he said things about the talk show host-turned-media mogul like "Oprah's audience is my audience's parents, so I could care less about Oprah or her show."
Gayle didn't like it. "Gayle is the real deal — a very sophisticated, secure and smart lady. She's never afraid of a situation … so she marched right up to me [at the benefit] and basically said, 'Why you talkin' s— about my girl?'" he writes in his book, according to Page Six.
He explained to Gayle that he thought Oprah didn't like him "because he'd heard her criticize his brand of hip hop as violent and misogynistic," Page Six writes, so he thought he'd get some attention by going after her in the press. According to Page Six, Fiddy — who's known for his many celebrity feuds — admits in the book that he would often get people to talk about him by playing up faux drama with other stars.
50 says in his book that he told Gayle, "Listen, I'd love to be Oprah's friend. But if we can't be friends, could we at least be enemies?" He further explains, "Before meeting me, they had bought into the 50 Cent persona … Someone who got into beefs and drama because he just couldn't help himself. But when I said, 'At least let me be an enemy,' they understood that when I got into a beef, it was never driven by emotion. Instead, I was moving off of strategy."
Gayle understood what he was doing but didn't give up. She later arranged for the rapper to appear on "Oprah's Next Chapter," where he and Oprah made peace in 2012.
But now it appears the "Power" star and producer is feuding with both women again.
Page Six points out that fresh drama sparked in late 2019 when 50 accused Oprah of targeting high-profile alleged sexual predators who are black and staying silent about white men accused of sexual misconduct.
"I don't understand why Oprah is going after black men. No Harvey Weinstein, No [Jeffrey] Epstein, just Michael Jackson and Russell Simmons," he wrote on Instagram in December, referencing a #MeToo documentary Oprah was producing at the time — she's since exited the project — that explores accusations against music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons, as well as her sit-down with two men who accused Michael Jackson of molesting them when they were boys, which followed the premiere of HBO's "Leaving Neverland" documentary about the King of Pop's alleged behavior.
A few months later in early 2020, the rapper publicly criticized Gayle because she, in a long and wide-ranging interview with athlete Lisa Leslie for "CBS This Morning," asked the WNBA star if she felt that dismissed sexual assault charges against friend Kobe Bryant — who'd recently died in a helicopter crash — "complicated" his legacy.