TV personality Gayle King addressed a CBS interview clip that has gone viral regarding Kobe Bryant’s legacy and his rape case Thursday morning.
Fans of the former Lakers player thought the questioning was disrespectful, according to a report published by Page Six. In the now viral clip, King asked former basketball star Lisa Leslie about Kobe’s rape case.
“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,” King said in an Instagram video. “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.”
King claimed the interview touched on a wide range of topics, but also included his rape case.
.@WNBA legend @LisaLeslie told @GayleKing that Kobe Bryant’s legacy is “not complicated” for her despite his 2003 rape accusation.
“I don’t think it’s something that we should keep hanging over his legacy.” https://t.co/qj6MVvOaqX pic.twitter.com/9qtVORobLO
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 4, 2020
“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated, because of a sexual assault charge that was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?” King asked Leslie.
“It’s not complicated for me at all… I just never see — have ever seen him being the kind of person that would be — do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way,” Leslie responded. “That’s just not the person that I know.”
King pushed the conversation forward by saying, “But Lisa, you wouldn’t see it though. As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”
King addressed the follow-up questions in her Instagram video. (RELATED: 911 Calls Detail Just How Bad Weather Was Before Kobe Bryant Fatal Helicopter Crash)
“During the course of the interview I asked follow-up questions because I wanted to make sure her position and perspective were very clear and at the end when she said, ‘It’s time to leave it alone,’ as I said I thought that was powerful and I insisted that that part be in the interview because I thought it put a nice button on that part of the conversation,” she added.
The “CBS This Morning” host claimed she did not know the network was going to take the clip “out of context” and publish it online.
“I felt really good about the interview … so, for the network to take the most salacious part when taken out of context, and put it up online for people who didn’t see the whole interview, is very upsetting to me and that’s something I’m going to have to deal with with them,” King said. “There will be a very intense discussion about that.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 while en route to a basketball tournament in California.
“Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview with Lisa Leslie about the legacy of Kobe Bryant,” CBS said. “An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made.”