Oprah Says Gayle King ‘Now Has Death Threats’ in Light of Kobe Bryant Interview Saga

By A.J. Katz 

Oprah Winfrey told Today show’s Hoda & Jenna this morning that CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King “is not doing well” in light of anger elicited from clips of her interview with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, a longtime friend of the late Kobe Bryant.

Earlier this week, the network promoted the interview with a clip that focused on Bryant’s 2003 Colorado sexual assault case, leading to very harsh criticism from Bryant’s most ardent fans and friends. Yesterday, King attacked her own network for promoting the interview in a way that made her look insensitive.

“She is not doing well. May I say, she is not doing well because, she now has death threats and have to now travel with security. She’s feeling very much attacked,” Winfrey told the 10 a.m. hosts.


Saying King hasn’t “slept in two days…but will be OK.”

Winfrey continued: “She was put in a really terrible position. It was only because somebody at the network put up that clip, and I can see how people would obviously be very upset if you thought Gayle was trying to press to get an answer from Lisa Leslie,” she said.

King posted a video Thursday explaining how the clip of her asking Leslie about Bryant’s rape allegation was taken “out of context.” She described her interview with Leslie as a “wide-ranging” and was about Bryant’s legacy, which included questions about the sexual assault allegation that was settled out of court 2 years later.

Snoop Dogg took the criticism of King to another level yesterday, calling her a “funky dog-haired bitch” and threatened, “Respect the family and back off, bitch, before we come get you.” Fellow rapper 50 Cent expressed a similar sentiment on his Instagram page yesterday.

CBS addressed the situation yesterday afternoon in a statement: “Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview with Lisa Leslie about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview.  We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made.”

King did not appear on CBS This Morning today.