“Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb had a major fangirl moment on live television on Friday when she got to meet Oprah Winfrey for the first time.
Oprah was on the show to promote her 2020 Visions Tour, and when she came out to join Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the set, Kotb broke down in tears.
“Thank you. I can’t tell you, Oprah, I feel like I’ve been in this business 100 years…you know when people say, like, ‘You mean to much to me,’ but they’ve never met you and I know maybe it does seems a little weird, but this is really one of those moments for me,” Kotb said to Winfrey.
“I watched you over the years, I’ve watched you lift people up,” Kotb continued. “There’s only a couple people on the Earth who you want to emulate in our business. I watched you like, hold people’s hearts in your hand, and I remember thinking, like, how does she do that? And you did it in such a way that was always so tender and real, and the fact that you’re sitting here on this day is really kinda blowing my mind.”
Elsewhere during her visit to the show, Oprah talked about the backlash her good friend Gayle King has faced for her Lisa Leslie interview.
Much has been made about King’s line of questioning to the former WNBA star, during which she asked how Bryant’s 2003 rape case, which was later dismissed, affected his legacy.
“I think the last 24 hours for your best friend have been pretty difficult after that interview with Lisa Leslie about Kobe. And I just wondered just how she’s doing,” Bush Hager asked Oprah.
Oprah responded while getting choked up, “She is not doing well.”
She continued, “She has now death threats and has to now travel with security and she’s feeling very much attacked. You know, Bill Cosby is tweeting from jail.”
Oprah went on to say that King “feels that she was put in a really terrible position. In the context of the interview, everyone seemed fine, including Lisa Leslie. And it was only because somebody at the network put up that clip.
“And I can see how people would obviously be very upset if you thought that Gayle was just trying to press to get an answer from Lisa Leslie,” Winfrey explained. Adding, “Obviously all things pass, she will be okay, but she hasn’t slept in two days.”