Kelly Rowland explains her viral Cannes red-carpet confrontation: ‘I have a boundary’

Kelly Rowland wears a red strapless dress and diamond necklace and looks back over her shoulder at rows of photographers
Kelly Rowland was posing for photos at the Cannes Film Festival when an argument between her and a security guard was captured on camera.
(Andreea Alexandru / Invision / Associated Press)

Kelly Rowland is speaking out after her heated exchange on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet Thursday went viral.

The “Destiny’s Child” alum was photographed walking the Palais des Festivals staircase ahead of the premiere of “Marcello Mio,” a French-Italian comedy written and directed by Christophe Honoré.

She was smiling and waving to fans before a tense exchange with a security guard was recorded by paparazzi: The women spoke sternly to each other and Rowland was photographed pointing a finger at the guard. The people accompanying the singer attempted to interfere, but the guard continued moving them along the stairs.


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“The woman knows what happened. I know what happened,” Rowland, 43, told the Associated Press. “I have a boundary, and I stand by those boundaries, and that is it.”

Rowland didn’t explain what she meant by “boundaries” but did seem to insinuate that the guard had targeted her unfairly — perhaps through racial profiling.

“There were other women that attended that carpet who did not quite look like me, and they didn’t get scolded or pushed off or told to get off,” she said.

“I stood my ground, and she felt like she had to stand hers, but I stood my ground.”

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Rowland’s appearance garnered support online despite the confrontation.

“And just like that, she @kellyrowland graces another carpet with her amazing glorious beauty, class and grace!!!! Sipping Champagne and living her best life,” Tina Knowles, mother of Rowland’s Destiny’s Child bandmate Beyoncé, wrote on Instagram alongside a video of the singer posing with actor Evan Ross and singer Joe Jonas. “This just goes to show that one silly monkey, don’t stop no-show!!! on to bigger and ... better things.”

On the carpet, the “Motivation” singer wore a custom red strapless gown by Anamika Khanna and an Egyptian-inspired necklace by Messika. She was attending the festival as a guest of fragrance brand Kilian Paris.