Gayle King is defending herself, one day after an interview clip with her and Lisa Leslie discussing Kobe Bryant‘s 2003 sexual assault case went viral.
In a rare sit-down between the two which was based mostly upon Bryant and Leslie’s friendship and the NBA legend’s legacy, King asked Leslie her thoughts and feelings regarding Bryant’s death as well as how the 2003 rape allegation against Bryant would ultimately shape his legacy.
“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge which was dismissed in 2003, 2004,” King asked. “Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?”
Leslie responded that she doesn’t feel his legacy is complicated at all before noting that the allegations made against Bryant in 2003 did not line up with the man he grew to become after it.
“It’s not complicated at all,” Leslie responded. “I’ve just have never seen Kobe be the type of person to do something or violate a woman, or be aggressive in that way. That’s just not the person that I know.”
King continued to press, ”Lisa you wouldn’t see it though. As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”
Leslie, not backing down herself, continued to defend Bryant.
“I just don’t believe that. And I’m not saying things didn’t happen. I just don’t believe that things didn’t happen with force,” she said. “I think that the media should be more respectful at this time. It’s like if you had questions about it, you had many years to ask him that. I don’t think it’s something we should keep hanging over his legacy.”
Today, King says CBS released the clip out of context and it has left her “mortified” “very angry” and “embarrassed.”
“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,” she told her 780,000 followers on Instagram. “I am mortified. I am embarrassed and I am very angry. 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.”
Still, King’s remarks regarding the interview and Bryant aren’t winning over many people – whether it be fans of Bryant or friends of the late NBA superstar. Snoop Dogg, in particular, did not mince words in regards to King.
See Snoop’s remarks as well as the response to King’s interview below.