March 9, 2020
Gayle King Addresses 'Very Painful' Backlash To Kobe Bryant Interview In Interview With Oprah

Gayle King says she has moved on from the backlash she received following Kobe Bryant's death. According to People, the TV host sat down with Oprah Winfrey over the weekend to discuss the controversy that was stirred up in the wake of the basketball legend's death.

"I have moved on. Is there a scab? Yeah. But I have moved on. I put on my game face and my big girl pants, because I never lost sight of who I was, what I believe I am, and my intention," King said.

The backlash began after a clip of King interview WNBA star Lisa Leslie was pushed on social media. In the clip, King asks Leslie, who was a friend of Bryant's, about the rape allegations that were made against him in 2003. After the clip went viral, a backlash quickly formed against King, who was accused of trying to ruin Bryant's legacy by celebrities like Snoop Dogg.

King sat down with Winfrey, who is a friend of hers, during the last stop of Winfrey's "2020 Vision Tour" in Denver, Colorado. During their conversation, Winfrey brought up the death threats and harsh comments that had come King's way during the height of the backlash.

King said that the backlash was "very painful," but that she ultimately learned how to deal with the vitriol coming towards her.

"I think we can disagree politically, we can disagree socially, if you want to, but I just think humanity should prevail always. I think we still have to figure out a way to navigate that with each other. That we can disagree, and you can be mad at me even, but you can't speak to me the way I was spoken to and threatened," King said.

Although King has moved on from the controversy, she did take some time off from her job hosting CBS This Morning at the height of the backlash. During an interview on Today in the immediate aftermath of King's absence, Winfrey got visibly upset as she described the situation her friend was facing.

At the time, Winfrey said that those who had threatened King had taken things too far. She said that King hadn't slept in two days. Winfrey said that King felt she had been put in a terrible position. After the backlash to the clip, King released a response in which she said that it was taken out of context and said that her intention was not to destroy Bryant's legacy.