The media personality recently held an interview with famed WNBA star Lisa Leslie in which she pressured the ball player to give her stance on the rape allegations that have surrounded Bryant’s name for years. She persistently asked Leslie if the believed the rumors to be a tarnish on the Olympian athlete’s legacy post-death, and was relentless even when Leslie attempted to deflect.
The WNBA star replied firmly that she had never known Bryant as a cruel or aggressive individual in the presence of women. King then furthered her argument, pushing Leslie to speak about the allegations more, with the basketball star retorting simply that she feels as though media outlets need to make sure to put some respect on Bryant’s legacy, not tarnish it with rumors he can no longer defend himself against given his untimely passing such a short time ago.
The fallout of the highly controversial interview has left King in the crosshairs for many fans who claim that her choice of questions and approach to them was rude and disrespectful to Leslie, her interviewee, and Bryant, the topic of discussion. Many took to social media to express their anger towards the television personality.
“Gayle King really tryna push that sex offender narrative on Kobe while he is no longer here to defend himself? Lol she and Oprah will NEVER pass up the opportunity to tarnish a black man’s name…” one user on Twitter commented in regards to the situation.
Another Twitter user commented, “I’m done with Gayle and Oprah. Y’all had all these years to ask Kobe questions and you wait till now? Where’s the Harvey Weinstein interview? Why do y’all hate black men so much? Shoutout to Lisa Leslie for shutting that BS down. “Is it fair to ask” b**** u know it’s not fair FU!”
Clearly, the critical response to King’s line of questioning is not good, to say the least, yet the television star and famous best friend of Oprah Winfrey is yet to issue a subsequent statement in the wake of the backlash.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant passed away on January 26 over Calabasas, California when the helicopter that was carrying them and seven other passengers went out of control due to unforeseeable weather conditions.
In the wake of their deaths there has been an outpouring of support from all facets of the entertainment world. Athletes, actors, musicians, and others alike have seemingly all shared touching tributes to the late basketball legend since his death nearly two weeks ago.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant are survived by Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, and Kapri Bryant.