Gayle King wants you and everyone online to know that she had a friendly relationship with the late Kobe Bryant and that there was “no disrespect intended” on her end in a recent interview with the NBA legend’s friend WNBA player Lisa Leslie. On Tuesday, the CBS This Morning Twitter account posted a clip from an interview between King and Leslie about her friendship with Bryant and her thoughts on his legacy. In the clip, King presses Leslie about whether Bryant’s “legacy is complicated because of a sexual-assault charge.” When Leslie says she never saw him “being the kind of person” who was “aggressive in that way,” King counters, “But Lisa, you wouldn’t see it, though. As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”
King was roundly lambasted for the clip on Twitter and Instagram, with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Boosie, and Vivica A. Fox expressing anger and disappointment over the disrespectful line of questioning. In response, on Thursday morning King posted a nearly four-minute video to Instagram, in which she explains that most of the interview was about “his career, his passion, his sense of humor, the way he was mentoring other people, how he was starting his next chapter.” She says she finds it “upsetting” that CBS posted “the most salacious part when taken out of context, and put it up online for people who didn’t see the whole interview.” King also explains why she brought up Bryant’s assault charges to Leslie in the first place: “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.”
After saying she will have “a very intense discussion” with CBS about the tweet, King used the rest of the video to describe her own relationship with Bryant:
I have been with Kobe Bryant on many social occasions. He was very kind and very warm to me and I felt we had a friendly relationship. I too am mourning his loss just like everybody else. I still am shocked by it. It’s tragic and untimely and the last thing I would want to do is disparage him at this particular time … and that’s why I’m taking this time to speak to you directly, I’ve never done one of these before, but this is so important to me that I felt I had to say something. I don’t want to sit up on a set and read a prepared remark. I wanted you to hear exactly where I’m coming from and how I’m feeling, and to let everybody know that no disrespect intended … I thank you for listening.
Vivica A. Fox reposted a clip of King’s Instagram explanation for her own followers, adding the caption, “I appreciate that she spoke out and didnt just think it would or we would just go away!”
Update: Snoop Dogg has issued a public apology to King. In an Instagram video, Snoop Dogg said the following:
Two wrongs don’t make no right. When you’re wrong, you gotta fix it.
So with that being said, Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions, being mad at questions you asked … so I would like to apologize to you publicly for the language that I used and calling you out of your name and just being disrespectful… A lot of people look up to me and they love and appreciate me, so I want to let them know that anytime you mess up, it’s okay to fix it, it’s okay to man up and say that you’re wrong. I apologize. Hopefully we can sit down and talk privately. Have a good day.
The complete apology video is below: