Gayle King said she was “embarrassed” and “mortified” over a clip from an interview she did with basketball star Lisa Leslie discussing the legacy of Kobe Bryant that King says was taken “out of context.”
The clip focused heavily on the late Bryant’s rape trial from 2003, and King had asked Leslie if that news tarnished his legacy in her eyes. The moment sparked outrage from stars like Snoop Dogg and Vivica A. Fox, as well as many others on Twitter who said King was being opportunistic in the wake of Bryant’s death.
On Thursday however, King said that the clip from the interview was shared by the network without her knowledge, and it failed to show the full scope of the interview King did with Leslie.
“I’ve been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant, and I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me, too,” King said in an Instagram video off air from “CBS This Morning.” “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. It’s jarring to me. I didn’t even know anything about it.”
King added that after the full interview aired on Wednesday, she spoke with Leslie, who said she was satisfied with the full interview. Leslie in the clip said it’s time for the media to move past discussing the court case, and King stressed in her Instagram post how powerful that moment was to her and said she insisted that moment be in the interview to provide a full sense of context.
“It was very powerful, when she looked me in the eye as a member of the media and said it’s time for the media to leave it alone and to back off. During the course of the interview, I asked follow up questions, because I wanted to make sure her position and perspective were very clear. And at the end when she said it’s time to leave it alone,” King said. “For the network to take the most salacious part and put it up on online for people who didn’t see the whole interview is very upsetting to me, and that’s something I’m going to have to deal with with them, and there will be an intense discussion about that.”
King said she also had a very strong relationship with Bryant and is likewise mourning his death.
“I too am mourning his loss just like anyone else,” she said. “The last thing I would want to do is disparage him at this particular time, and I hope people understand that.”
Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, on Jan. 26.
In 2003, a 19-year-old female hotel concierge accused Bryant of raping her in 2003, but the case was later settled out of court in 2005.
Watch King’s Instagram comments below, and also see the full interview she did with Leslie above.