Journalist Gayle King is reportedly upset at her long-time employer, CBS News, for resurfacing and sharing a video clip of her provocative line of questions about Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case from 2003, which has sparked a national outrage against her.
King, who is the host of CBS This Morning, has come under fire from many Twitter users and celebrities including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Ari Lennox after seeing the clip.
King addressed the issue through a video posted to her social media accounts, defending herself and blaming her home network, CBS News.
“I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too,” she said. “I am mortified, I’m 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.”
In the clip, King asked Leslie about Bryant’s sexual assault case which was eventually settled in 2005. During the interview, she says, “It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) player?”
Leslie then responded, “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. That’s just not the person that I know.”
Bryant’s untimely death in a helicopter crash last month revived the issue of the 2003 sexual assault, but King claimed that “last thing I would want to do is disparage him (Bryant) at this particular time.”
Meanwhile, CBS said in a statement that King “conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview” with Leslie but the clip that was posted “did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview.” Their spokesperson added that they “are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made.