When Gayle King interviewed WNBA star Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant, she never expected the interview to result in so much controversy. However, Gayle King has not been able to sleep since the interview aired as people have been outraged by it. During the interview, King asked the WBNA star about the rape allegations against Kobe Bryant and how that affected her perception of the NBA superstar.
In the wake of the catastrophic interview, Oprah has come forward to speak about how it is affecting her best friend, Gayle King. Oprah held back tears on Friday as she told the world that King has received death threats and has been unable to sleep following the controversial interview.
During the interview, King spoke to Leslie during the CBS This Morning coverage. They discussed Bryant’s legacy and the tragedy of his sudden and unexpected death.
Gayle felt that she could not do her journalistic due-diligence if she did not address the 2003 rape allegations against the basketball star. Although the charges against him were dropped, Bryant released a statement to the public following the incident. He said that he thought their sex was consensual and apologized to her because he now realized that she did not.
A clip posted to the CBS This Morning Twitter feed showed Gayle and Leslie speaking about the incident. Some celebrities like Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent took pause to lash out at Gayle King’s interview and attack her for addressing the rape allegations in the wake of Bryant’s untimely death.
On Thursday, King shared a post on Instagram where she condemned CBS Network for uploading the clip “out of context” and said that they’d purposely chosen that moment from the entire interview because it was the “most salacious part” of their discussion of Kobe Bryant.
The following day Oprah appeared on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, where she told America that Gayle King now must travel with security because of the death threats against her.
Oprah made it very clear that Gayle King is “Not doing well” and that she has not “slept for two days.”
“She is not doing well,” Oprah said. May I say she is not doing well because she has now death threats and has to now travel with security. She’s feeling very much attacked. Bill Cosby is tweeting from jail!”
Oprah told America that Gayle King felt that CBS put her in a “terrible position” by promoting the interview with that clip.
“That interview had already run. 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. I can see how people would obviously be very upset if you thought that Gayle was trying to press to get an answer from Lisa Leslie. Obviously, all things pass, and she will be okay, but she hasn’t slept in two days.”
Oprah added, “The vitriol is anybody can criticize anything but the misogynist vitriol and the attacking to the point where it is dangerous to be in the streets alone.”