Gayle King was the subject of serious social media backlash this week after she brought up rape allegations made against Kobe Bryant in 2003 while interviewing Lisa Leslie about his legacy.
“I’ve been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant,” King said. “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.”
— el cordobes (@sixbravebulls) February 6, 2020
“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,” King continued, referencing the clip that was shared on social media by CBS.
“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.
“I really want people to understand what happened here and how I’m feeling about it,” she said. “I believe that Lisa was OK with the interview and I felt really good about the interview.”
After the explanation was posted, social media quickly began discussing both sides of the issue.
“#GayleKing speaks. And clarifies on her interview with Lisa Leslie about Kobe’s court case. But, yall probably don’t care. Yall like being mad about something,” one defender said.
“Gayle King got a $11 million raise from the same people who turned a blind eye to the sexual assaults of her former boss Les Moonves the former Chairman of CBS. This is about deflecting attention from rich white men. Notice you don’t hear Latino or Asian men being dragged like BM,” someone else wrote.
— 🇯🇲Adrian Cunningham🇳🇬 (@CallMeChukklz) February 6, 2020
“#GayleKing talkin shit about Kobe a well loved & respected legend who has also done so much good for our communities. U’r tryin to use kobes passin to get noticed. Ur pathetic & disgusting,” one upset person said.
“Thank you, Lisa Leslie for reminding Gayle King who your friend Kobe was/is to you! Gayle King, you are out of line, disrespectful, and wrong on all levels! It’s sad a former WNBA star had to teach you media etiquette,” another wrote.
“Talk about shooting the messenger. He said he did it. I always say that to people who try to erase this. He was fantastic in every other way, but he said.. he did it. Stand strong #GayleKing. Witnessing this pile-on helps me understand Trumpsters. Group think is always bananas,” someone else commented.