Gayle King, the host of 'CBS This Morning', faced severe backlash after she raked up the sexual assault charge against Kobe Bryant, during an interview with Lisa Leslie, former WNBA champion. In 2003, a 19-year-old woman from Colorado had accused Bryant of rape. The case was later dropped in 2004.
The NBA legend, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, were flying to Thousand Oaks in a helicopter to participate in the Youth Basketball Tournament when their chopper crashed in the rugged terrain of Calabasas, last month.
CBS This Morning released a clip that caused the backlash
In the 1:34 minute clip released by CBS This Morning, King could be heard asking Bryant's long-time friend Leslie about the dropped case. "It has been said that his legacy is complicated because of the sexual assault charge which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you as a woman, a WNBA player?" King asked Leslie.
Maintaining that the issue was not complicated for her, Leslie replied: "It's not complicated for me at all. I just have never seen him as being the kind of person that would do something violating to a woman or be aggressive in that way. That's just not the person I know."
King then went on to ask whether it was 'fair' to rake up the rape allegations after Bryant's death. The former WNBA champion said: "I think the media should be more respectful at this time. It's like if you had questions about it, you've had many years to ask him that. I don't think it's something that we should keep hanging out his legacy."
King apologises on Twitter maintaining that the clip was out-of-context
Soon after the clip went viral on social media and received severe public backlash, King took to Twitter offering her side of the story. "I've been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant, and I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I'd be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified. I am embarrassed and I am very angry."
Maintaining that the network posted an out-of-context clip from the interview, King added: "Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide ranging interview, totally taken out of context and when you see it that way, it's very jarring. It's jarring to me. I didn't even know anything about it. I started getting calls, 'What the hell are you doing? Why did you say this? What is happening?' I did not know what people were talking about." King said that she would be holding a meeting with the officials to clear out the matter.
Much later, a spokesperson from CBS issued a statement saying: "Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview with Lisa Leslie about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made."
Snoop Dog warns King to back off
Lashing out at the morning show host, rapper Snoop Dogg took to Instagram warning King to respect the legend's family and back off before they come to get her. "P.S.A. Let the family mourn in peace," he captioned the video clip.
"Gayle King, you're out of pocket for that s—t," he said in an Instagram post. "Way out of pocket. What do you gain from that? We expect more from you Gayle. Don't you hang out with Oprah [Winfrey]? Why are you all attacking us? We're your people. You don't come after Harvey Weinstein, asking those dumba—s questions. I get sick of you all ...I wanna call you one ... Funky, dog-haired bitch, how dare you try and tarnish my motherf–king homeboy's reputation, punk motherf–ker. Respect the family and back off, bitch, before we come get you," the rapper said in the video that has already crossed 1.9 million views.
Rapper Boosie Badazz too slammed King for the uncomfortable questions asked during the interview. "Gayle King, why the f*** would you ask some s*** like that? Why the f*** would you do something like that? Why would you do that to your people? Why would you ask a question like that, trying to tarnish somebody's image?" posted the rapper on his Instagram page.