Gayle King "Cats" World Premiere
Dia Dipasupil

Gayle King Responds To Backlash After Discussing Kobe Bryant’s Rape Allegations

The veteran journalist brought up the allegations in an interview with Lisa Leslie.

Gayle King is responding to backlash after bringing up Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations during an interview with basketball great, Lisa Leslie, for CBS This Morning. A clip of King's interview went viral on Wednesday (Feb. 5).

“I understand why people are upset seeing that clip out of context,” she said in a statement to USA Today. "I hope they will now watch the entire wide-ranging interview. We asked a longtime friend of Kobe Bryant’s to talk to us about his legacy and their friendship and Lisa Leslie did exactly that.”

In the sit-down discussing Bryant’s legacy, King mentioned the nearly 20-year-old rape case against Bryant that was later dismissed.

“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge which was dismissed in 2003, 2004,” King said to Leslie. “Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?”

Leslie replied, “It’s not complicated for me at all. Even if there’s a few times that we’ve been in the club at the same time. Kobe’s not the kind of guy, never been, like, ‘Lis, go get that girl, or tell her, or send her, this.’ I have other NBA friends that are like that. Kobe, he was never like that. I have never 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.”

King replied, “But Lisa, you wouldn’t see it though. As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”

“And that’s possible,” said Leslie. “I just don’t believe that, and I’m not saying things didn’t happen. I just don’t believe that things [happened] with force.”

Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee in 2003. The Lakers star admitted to having sex with the woman but denied that the encounter wasn’t consensual. The woman filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court.

King questioned the fairness of talking about the allegations, given that the late NBA legend can no longer defend himself. “Or is it really part of his history?”

Leslie said that the media should be “more respectful” about the topic, especially as Bryant's family, friends, and fans continue to mourn his death.  “It’s like, if you had questions about it, you’ve had many years to ask him that,” she added. “I don’t think it’s something that we should keep hanging over his legacy. I’m mean, [the case] went to trial.”

King noted that the case was dismissed because the accuser refused to testify, to which Leslie replied, “And I think that we should leave it there.”

The viral clip was met with swift backlash against King, who was accused of targeting black male celebrities, and turning a blind eye against white celebs who have been accused of rape, such as Harvey Weinstein.

See more of King's interview with Leslie below.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ty Dolla $ign Releases New Album Feat. Nicki Minaj, Roddy Ricch, Kanye West And More

After a three-year album hiatus, Ty Dolla $ign released his latest studio effort, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, on Friday (Oct. 23).

The 25-track album features appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, 6lack, Young Thug, Music Soulchild, Skrillex, Quavo, Anderson Paak, Post Malone, Kanye West, and more.

Powered by previously released singles, “Ego Death,” Expensive” and By Yourself,” the new album flexes a different music muscle for the Grammy-nominated recording artists who steered clear of  making club records.

“I was intentionally trying to not make club songs [talking about] hoes and *itches and all the sh*t I used to talk about,” Ty told Vulture in a recent interview. “I was trying to, like, talk about my life, and what it is now, and really do something different with it. I got a daughter going to high school this year, and she’s paying attention, and all her friends are paying attention, so I can’t talk as crazy or do the crazy sh*t that I used to do.”

Stream Featuring Ty Dolla Sign below.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Jay Z Launches His Own Cannabis Brand

Jay Z is venturing into the world of cannabis. The  mogul officially announced the launch of his new cannabis brand, Monogram, on Friday (Oct. 23) marking his first product collaboration since becoming chief brand strategists of the Northern California-based dispensary, Caliva, last year.

“Monogram seeks to redefine what cannabis means to consumers today,” the company said in a press release. As many marijuana storefronts have implemented new rules amid the global pandemic, Monogram is also planing to launch an e-commerce sales option, “In an effort to provide a more tailored customer experience.”

Caliva and Hov opened their first Southern California storefront last year. Besides providing quality products, Hov aims to use his position at Caliva to help the formerly incarcerated (many of whom are not reaping the benefits of marijuana legalization) through advocacy, job training, and employee and workforce development.

According to the company website, Monogram uses “expert growers” to ensure that each marijuana flowers receives the “respect it deserves” in every stage of the growth process. Additionally, Monogram flowers are grown in small batches so that every plant gets “personalized attention.”

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Kehlani Plays Bryson Tiller’s Love Interest In “Always Forever” Video

Kehlani stars as Tiller’s love interest in the intimate new music video for “Always Forever,” released on Thursday (Oct. 22).

The stunning visual, directed by Glenn Michael of Toronto’s Kid Studio, is a creative take on how a relationship can become your entire universe. Tyler and Kehlani cuddle up, kiss, and hold hand in the steamy visual, prompting some fans to question the chemistry between the two. They might look pretty cozy, but Kehlani and Tiller are just friends (Tiller welcomed a child with girlfriend Kendra Bailey last year).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

🌎🎥💫Thanks Guys. #alwaysforever @kidstudio_ @ichiki @kehlani

A post shared by [ Bryson ] (@brysontiller) on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:35pm PDT

Kehlani shared some close-up stills from the music video on Instagram along with a message thanking Tiller for being a “solid” friend. “To one of my dearest friends…matching tattoos, years worth of stories, nights of dying laughter and holding each other down in the roughest times…I’m so proud of you. Thank you for being solid.”

The post was deleted after fans in the comments continued to speculate if the two were an item. Kehlani shared a follow-up message on her Instagram Story explaining in part, “I post lengthy captions about all my friends. You would have to follow me to know that.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#Roommates, #Kehlani explains her previous message to #BrysonTiller. (SWIPE for previous post)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Oct 22, 2020 at 11:53am PDT

“Always Forever” is the latest single from Tiller’s newly released ANNIVERSARY LP.

Watch the video below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories