Gayle King Explains Controversial Kobe Bryant Question

Says CBS pulled out a clip from her interview with Lisa Leslie that made viewers angry
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2020 12:23 PM CST

Gayle King's interview with Lisa Leslie hit on many topics surrounding the life and death of Kobe Bryant, who was good friends with the WNBA player. But the clip CBS chose to pull out as a promo fixated on one question in particular: King asking Leslie about the 2003 rape allegation against Bryant. Many got angry at King, and now King is airing her anger at the network, USA Today reports. "If I had only seen the clip that you saw, I would be extremely angry with me too," she says in a two-part video posted to Twitter. "I am mortified, I am 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." She says she had no idea the promo was going to be cut that way, and promised to have an "intense discussion" with the network about it.

King says that because the rape charge, which was ultimately dismissed, has been brought up in the wake of Bryant's death, she thought it was important to get Leslie's take on it. "It was very powerful when she looked me in the eye, as a member of the media, to say it's time for the media to leave that alone and back off. ... I asked follow-up questions because I wanted to make sure her position and perspective were very clear," King says. "For the network to take the most salacious part, when taken out of context, and put it up online, for people who didn't see the whole interview is very upsetting to me," King said. The Root says the entire incident reveals "how much further we have to go": "It would be deeply dishonest to say [the rape case] has no bearing on Bryant’s legacy." (More Kobe Bryant stories.)

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