In a statement to E! News, a CBS News spokesperson said, “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.”
Their statement on the matter seemingly confirms Gayle’s claim that her interview with the WNBA legend was “totally taken out of context.” She said in two videos, “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. 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.”
The newscaster also said she was so persistent with her follow-up questions, because she “wanted to make sure [Lisa’s] position and perspective were very clear.”
“For the network to take the most salacious part, when taken out of context, and put it up online for people who didn’t see the whole interview was very upsetting to me,” she explained. “That’s something I am going to have deal with with them.” The 65-year-old added she had spoken to Lisa Leslie since the interview aired and she believes the athlete is “okay” with what was presented.
The anchor emphasized she didn’t “intend” to offend the Bryant family or anyone else, because she viewed Kobe as a friend since they had interacted at “many social occasions.”
She claimed, “He was very kind and warm to me and I felt we had a friendly relationship. I too am mourning his loss like anybody else. I still am shocked by it. It’s tragic and untimely and the last thing I would want to do is disparage him at this particular time.”
Despite her apparent good intentions, King is being criticized by both Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent. The two rappers have taken to social media to air their grievances with King, who used to be good friends with alleged serial rapist Harvey Weinstein. He said in a video, “Out of pocket for that s–t. Way out of pocket. What do you gain from that? I swear to God, we’re the worst. We’re the f–king worst. We expect more from you, Gayle. Don’t you hang out with Oprah [Winfrey]? Why ya’ll attacking us? We your people. You ain’t coming after f–king [producer] Harvey Weinstein, asking them dumbass questions. I get sick of ya’ll.”
Lisa Leslie has yet to address the interview.
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