Gayle King publicly addresses “hateful" and "painful" Kobe Bryant interview backlash

10 March 2020, 11:01

Gayle King opens up about the brutal backlash received over the Kobe Bryant interview
Gayle King opens up about the brutal backlash received over the Kobe Bryant interview. Picture: Getty

Journalist Gayle King has opened up about receiving brutal backlash after bringing up Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case, shortly after he passed away.

Gayle King has opened up about how the backlash she received from asking WNBA star Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant's 2003 sexual assault allegations.

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On Saturday, King joined Oprah Winfrey, at the final stop of her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour. The CBS In The Morning host referred to the Kobe Bryant backlash as “very painful”.

Detailing how she has dealt with the backlash,, King says “I have moved on,” King, 65, told Winfrey, 66, according to The People's exclusive clip.

King continued “Is there a scab? Yeah. But I have moved on.”

“I put on my game face and my big girl pants, because I never lost sight of who I was, what I believe I am, and my intention."

"I’ve never lost sight of that. But it certainly was a learning curve, and it was very painful” the veteran journalist added.

Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour With Special Guest Gayle King
Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour With Special Guest Gayle King. Picture: Getty

Winfrey pointed out that the “good people” who remained silent throughout the backlash also contributed to the pain of the experience

“In every circumstance, I think this is something for us to remember,” Winfrey said. “It’s not the people who are being mean, it’s not the badness, it’s not the vitriol that’s being put into the world, but it’s the good people who remain silent that becomes so hurtful.”

“I think we can disagree politically, we can disagree socially, if you want to, but I just think humanity should prevail always,” King added.

“I think we still have to figure out a way to navigate that with each other. That we can disagree, and you can be mad at me even, but you can’t speak to me the way I was spoken to and threatened.”

The controversy was sparked when King interviewed WNBA star Lisa Leslie about Bryant’s life and legacy, shortly after the NBA star’s tragic death caused by a helicopter crash in January,.

King asked whether Bryant’s past 2003 sexual assault case compromised his legacy.

In 2003, Bryant pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault after a 19-year-old employee of a Colorado ski resort accused him of sexual assault.

Criminal charges against the famous Lakers' basketball player were eventually dropped.

After King's interview with Leslie aired in full, a short clip of the interview was posted by CBS and quickly circulated social media.

There was a public outcry and brutal backlash aimed at King, which even included death threats.

Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent were amongst other artists slammed slam King on social media.

Not only stars expressed their anger towards Gayle, but fans of Bryant passionately

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