Snoop Dogg said King’s interview with the former WNBA star made him angry because Bryant is no longer alive to defend himself against the allegations.
In his Instagram video, the rapper said he “overreacted” and “should have handled it differently than that.”
Since King’s arguably insensitive interview became public, the CBS anchor has lost sleep and received death threats, according to best friend Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah appeared on “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna” on Friday morning to discuss her “2020 Vision” tour and to answer questions about her favorite foods and friends. The interview was filled with laughter and lighthearted moments, but the interview took an emotional turn when Hoda Kotb inquired about King.
King, who has been Oprah’s longtime best friend, has attempted to defend herself against critics who have denounced the journalist for pressing Leslie to comment on Bryant’s rape charges in a “CBS Morning News” segment last week. In the interview, King asked multiple questions about the validity of the rape allegations against the late NBA champion, who died with eight others in a helicopter crash.
During Friday’s “TODAY” interview, Kotb asked Winfrey how her best friend was handling the scrutiny and online bashing King has endured since the short clip from Leslie made its rounds on social media.
.@Oprah emotionally responds to backlash her friend Gayle King received over King’s recent interview about Kobe Bryant with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie: “She is not doing well because she has now death threats.” pic.twitter.com/M8HrCp8vTr
“She is not doing well. May I say, she is not doing well, she is not doing well, because she has now death threats and has to travel with security,” Oprah said as tears formed in her eyes. “And she’s feeling very much attacked.”
Winfrey went on to say that Bill Cosby tweeting from prison and other calls bashing the 65-year-old journalist have put her in “a really terrible position.” The comments from famous people including Cosby and Snoop Dogg have bred “vitriol” and “meanness” from internet trolls, Winfrey said.
“People take that message and feel like they can do what they want to,” Winfrey said Friday.
The interview aired last Tuesday, but Oprah and King have said the overarching issue is not the nature of the interview queries. Instead, they blame the network’s social team for posting a clip from the interview that would be sure to spark controversy and anger fans still grieving Bryant’s death.
“Somebody at the network put up that clip, and I can see how people would, obviously, be very upset,” Winfrey told Kotb and Bush on Friday.
Most have found issue with King not only asking about Bryant’s rape charges, which were dismissed more than 15 years ago, but disputing Leslie’s stance that Bryant would never “see” her friend forcing himself on someone sexually.
King quickly chided back, “But, Lisa, you wouldn’t see it, though. As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”
Last Thursday, King posted a live video to defend herself and put blame on CBS for posting a clip that didn’t reflect the entire interview. CBS has since come out to say the footage posted on social media was not appropriate and that the network would make changes to its “internal process.”
“We are addressing the internal process that led to this, and changes have already been made,” CBS said.
The network and King’s perspective on the interview has not changed how many feel about the line of questioning, which has led for several stressful days for King, Winfrey said. The veteran journalist has not “slept in two days,” Winfrey confirmed Friday. However, she expects that the heat around the interview will cool down soon.
“All things pass,” Winfrey said. “She will be OK.”
Stephanie has been telling stories her whole life. Her interest in the written word started with short stories and journal entries about run-ins with classroom bullies as a child and matured to writing for her high school newspaper over the years. She has written and edited for The Tennessean, Augusta Chronicle and American City & County.