“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,” Zirinsky told the Associated Press Saturday. “We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.”
Zirinsky’s comments came one day after Oprah Winfrey, revealed in an interview that King is “not doing well.”
“She now has death threats and has to now travel with security,” Winfrey told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the Today show.
CBS declined to discuss the nature of the threats today, but Zirinsky’s statement essentially confirms Winfrey’s account.
The controversy started after King interviewed Bryant’s good friend, former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, about the late Los Angeles Lakers star’s legacy.
In her interview, King asked Leslie about Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case in Colorado. Bryant reached an out-of-court settlement with his accuser. King noted in her interview that the five-time NBA champion’s legacy is “complicated.”
Leslie replied, “It’s not complicated for me at all… I just never see — have ever seen him being the kind of person that would be — do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way.”
Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash with eight others on Jan. 26. After CBS posted a clip from King’s interview with Leslie online, the basketball legend’s fans were in an uproar.
However, the rapper walked back his comments today in a new video on Instagram.
“I’m a non-violent person. When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family. Now with that being said, what do I look like wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman? I was raised way better than that,” Snoop Dogg said. [It should be noted that King is actually 65 years old].
The rapper went on to insist he never threatened King.
“I didn’t threaten her. All I did was said, ‘Check it out. You’re out of pocket for what you’re doing and we’re watching you,'” he added. “We’re very non-violent. We just want to say that first and foremost, we speak from the heart. Some of you who have no heart don’t understand that.”
King uploaded her own video to Instagram on Feb. 6, criticizing CBS for posting a “salacious” clip from her interview with Leslie.
“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. It’s jarring to me. I didn’t even know anything about it,” she said.
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