Gayle King Responds to Backlash over Bringing up Kobe Bryant's Sexual Assault Case during Lisa Leslie Interview

Gayle King responds to the backlash of her recent interview by saying she is "not ashamed" for bringing up Kobe Bryant's infamous rape case while speaking to Lisa Leslie. 

WNBA star Lisa Leslie sat down for an interview with Gayle King on "CBS: This Morning" to discuss the life and legacy of late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. 

During the interview, Leslie suggested that the media should be "more respectful" of Bryant, who passed away after a tragic helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers last January 26. 

Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a hotel staff member in Colorado which ended with settlements. 

A portrait of Kobe Bryant at an NBA game | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

A portrait of Kobe Bryant at an NBA game | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine


When King decided to bring up the 2003 rape case against him, Leslie was quick to say that it would have been a lot better to have asked Bryant that when he was still alive. 

"It's not complicated for me at all... it's like if you had questions about it, you had many years to ask him that. I don't think it's something that we should keep hanging over his legacy."


 After receiving criticism from people all over the world for the sudden attack on Bryant, she responded over Twitter that she was "not ashamed" of it, as it was a "fair question."

This didn't stop the flow of comments from disappointed fans, however, calling it "distasteful." 

Some also decided to bring up the fact that King and one of her previous guests, Oprah Winfrey, dodged all questions on Harvey Weinstein despite so confidently bringing up Bryant's past case.  


Bryant was charged with sexual assault after a 19-year-old employee at the Cordillera Lodge and Spa in Colorado accused him of rape. When the victim refused to testify against him and instead reached a settlement with Bryant's camp, the case was dismissed. 

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Realizing how quickly the news spread at the time, Bryant issued an apology to his accuser, noting that he believed the encounter was consensual despite recognizing that she didn't feel the same way at the time. 

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