Gayle King jokes she’s sending her Sports Illustrated cover to ex-husband


Gayle King thinks she could use her new Sports Illustrated cover against her ex-husband, William Bumpus.

For the publication’s 60th–anniversary swimsuit issue, the 69-year-old broadcast journalist was asked to pose for the front page in a patterned one-piece. To King, who’s known for her transformative work on CBS Mornings, the opportunity to be on the cover of the esteemed magazine was a dream.

In conversation with Entertainment Tonight at the issue’s launch party on 16 May, the mother expressed her shock and gratitude. “It has sunk in, but it’s still mind-blowing to me, honestly,” she said. “I used to look at it all the time, myself… never in a gazillion years did I think I would be that person.”

Now, she is “that person,” and amid the praise and congratulations from friends and family, King wonders what her old flame thinks of her swimwear feature.

“I wonder what my ex-husband is saying. I’m gonna send him a copy,” she joked.

King and Bumpus split in 1993, following 11 years of marriage. The former pair share two kids – Kirby, 38, and William Jr, 37. They welcomed Kirby in 1986, one year before William Jr was born. In 1990, King publicly accused Bumpus of cheating on her with someone close to him and her. Three years later, the two separated for good.

Both her daughter and her son have reached out since the release of her cover, applauding their mother on the beautiful picture.

“‘Mom, this is really cool. We’re very proud of you,’” King noted of her kids’ messages.

Despite her relationship ending with their father, King and her children have maintained their relationship. Raising kids was a responsibility the media star wanted to take on since she was young.

Her role in Kirby and William Jr’s lives has changed throughout the years as it does in most parent-child relationships.

Speaking on the We Are Family podcast in 2022, King explained what their household was like when Kirby and William Jr were growing up.

“When my kids were coming up, I did not have one of these households where I want to be your friend,” she admitted. “I had a very clear, I am the boss here. This is not a democracy.

“I do want to hear your opinion. Your opinion matters to me,” King added. “But at the end of the day, I get to be the one that makes a call.”



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