Oprah Winfrey says Gayle King is receiving death threats over Kobe Bryant interview

Oprah Winfrey and her friend Gayle King
Oprah Winfrey says Gayle King has been forced to beef up her security after receiving death threats. Pic credit:

Oprah Winfrey says that her friend Gayle King has been receiving death threats following the backlash generated in reaction to a video clip of her CBS This Morning interview with the retired WNBA star Lisa Leslie.

Winfrey revealed during an appearance on NBC’s Today with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush on Friday that Gayle King has not been doing well since the backlash and that she has been receiving death threats. She also said that King has been forced to travel with security due to the death threats.

“She is not doing well. May I say, she is not doing well because she has now death threats and has to now to travel with security,” Winfrey said. “She’s feeling very much attacked.”

According to Winfrey, King hasn’t slept well in two days. She said the promotional clip for the CBS This Morning interview with Leslie put King in a “really terrible position.” But Oprah said she expected that King will be OK.

“Anybody can criticize anything, but the misogynist vitriol and the attacking to the point where it is dangerous to be in the streets alone because it’s not just the people who are attacking. It’s the other people who take that message and feel like they can do whatever they want to because of it.”

King’s Bryant rape case interview with Leslie upset many people

During the interview on CBS This Morning, King brought up the 2003 rape charge against Bryant and asked whether she thought that Bryant’s legacy “was complicated because of a sexual assault charge” against him.

Leslie answered that Bryant’s legacy was not complicated for her.

King’s questioning of Leslie about the 2003 sexual assault charge against Bryant sparked anger on social media, with many alleging that King was trying to tarnish Bryant’s legacy after he died tragically in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Snoop Dogg posted a video slammed King for allegedly supporting efforts to tarnish the legacies of black male celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, and Russell Simmons.

The intensity of the backlash forced King to put up a video in which she tried to tell her own side of the story. King claimed that the interview was okay and that the anger was due to CBS taking the “salacious part” of the interview out of context.

On Thursday, CBS released a statement in which the network defended King’s interview. According to CBS, the excerpt of the interview they posted for promotional purposes “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,” the statement added.

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