Gayle King has received a lot of backlash for repeatedly bringing back Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault charge during an interview with the deceased basketball legend’s close friend, Lisa Leslie.
The snippet of the interview, which was shared on social media by CBS on Tuesday, was swiftly condemned by a host of people, including celebrities who called her out for trying to tarnish Bryant’s reputation, particularly when the former basketball star’s family is grieving.
Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant, alongside seven other passengers tragically lost their lives when the helicopter they were on board crashed near Calabasas in Los Angeles on January 26.
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The Los Angeles Lakers legend and future hall of famer was entangled in a sexual assault case in 2003 that was leveled against him by a then 19-year-old female. Bryant, however, denied the rape accusation, claiming the sex was consensual. The case was later dropped out of court after the accuser refused to testify. She subsequently reached a settlement with Bryant in a civil lawsuit.
In the wake of the criticisms, King, in a video on social media on Thursday responded to the backlash by blaming CBS for editing just that part of a very long interview. CBS subsequently took blame for the incident, admitting the video “did not reflect the nature and tone” of the entire interview.
“I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I would be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified. I’m embarrassed and I am very angry,” King said. “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.”
Among the host of celebrities who came after King was 50 Cent, first through social media, and then through an interview at the premiere of his executive produced prison drama series, For Life, on Wednesday.
“I didn’t understand what the goal is at that point,” the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ rapper started. “She knows what Kobe means to the actual culture at the same time. Like they knew what Michael Jackson meant. I just don’t know what you’re trying to do when the men are dead.”
He continued: “The system itself, the legal system couldn’t deal with it. What are you supposed to do? Publicly convict him? Is that the idea? Now is it justice or is it revenge?
“At that point, right? And you — you’re talking to people who know him. He’s a good person. (…) What do you wanna do about it? … Now he’s gone. Who can defend him at this point? It’s all public opinion now.”
He added: “Everyone is greater in their absence than they are in their presence, right? So they gonna keep playing with people that’s not here, and it’s gonna f*ck them over, because people are going to start to not like them in an intense way for doing that, ’cause it’s just not the right thing to do.”
Take a look at the video below and share with us your thoughts: