An emotional Oprah Winfrey provided an update about her best friend, Gayle King, since King’s controversial interview with Lisa Leslie in which she questioned the former WNBA star about Kobe Bryant’s past.
While appearing Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, on “Today” with hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, Winfrey began crying when speaking about King and the backlash she has faced since the interview.
“She is not doing well,” Winfrey said as she teared up. “She is not doing well because she now has death threats and has to now travel with security. She is feeling very much attacked.
“She’s not doing well and feels that she was put in a really terrible position,” Winfrey continued. “Because that interview had already ran and in the context of the interview, everyone seemed fine, including Lisa Leslie.”
Winfrey said King “hasn’t slept in two days,” and then the media mogul took aim at the backlash that could appear to be misogynistic.
“Anybody can criticize anything, but the misogynistic vitriol 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 feel like they can take that message and do whatever they want.”
During the interview, which premiered on “CBS This Morning,” King questioned WNBA legend Lisa Leslie about rape allegations Kobe Bryant faced in 2003.
Leslie was playing for the Los Angles Sparks when she met Bryant, who at the time was an 18-year-old rookie with the Lakers.
During her interview with Leslie, King asked if Bryant’s rape case would tarnish his legacy. As King continued to press Leslie on the topic, Leslie remained calm, saying, “I just never have ever seen him being the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That’s just not the person that I know.”