Gayle King is facing intense criticism from Kobe Bryant fans. In an interview with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, who was a close friend of Bryant’s, the CBS “This Morning” host asked Leslie about Bryant’s background, including his 2003 rape charge, E! Online reported.
Bryant’s charge was dismissed at trial when the 19-year-old woman accusing him refused to testify. The case was eventually settled as part of a civil lawsuit.
Since Bryant’s death, many have refused to acknowledge the allegations. When King resurfaced the topic in her interview with Leslie, fans were outraged on social media.
In the clip from CBS “This Morning,” released Tuesday, King is seen briefly discussing the 2003 trial and asking Leslie, “Is it complicated for you as a woman, as a WNBA player?”
Leslie responded with, “It’s not complicated for me at all,” and went on to explain that Bryant was never the type of person to prey on women in the club. “I just never, have ever seen him being the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way,” she added.
King’s response to this statement, “But Lisa, you wouldn’t see it, though,” is what caused a ruckus amongst Bryant’s fans, who have expressed the belief that the media needs to stop focusing on the trial and be respectful of his untimely death.
King posted a video on her Instagram early Thursday morning where she explained how the clip was taken out of context and how she too is grieving Bryant.
“I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too,” King said. “I am mortified, I am embarrassed, and I am very angry.”
“I really want people to understand what happened here and how I’m feeling about it,” she added. “I believe that Lisa was OK with the interview and I felt really good about the interview.”