Entertainment

Oprah breaks down, reveals Gayle King is ‘not doing well’ after getting death threats over Kobe Bryant clip

King came under fire for an interview clip discussing Byrant's rape allegations.

Oprah Winfrey became emotional yesterday as she revealed that her best friend Gayle King is “not doing well” after receiving death threats due to CBS posting a clip of the “CBS This Morning” co-host asking WNBA icon Lisa Leslie about the 2003 rape allegations against the late NBA star Kobe Bryant.

“May I say, she is not doing well. She is not doing well because she has, now, death threats and has to now travel with security and she’s feeling very much attacked,” Oprah told the “Today Show” Friday as she began to tear up.

It all started when King asked Leslie about her relationship with Bryant, and about his past rape allegation, according to Fox News.

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Back in 2003, Bryant was accused of rape by a 19 year-old hotel employee in Colorado. He admitted that he had cheated on his wife Vanessa with the young woman, but claimed that the sex was consensual. All charges against Bryant were later dropped when the woman refused to testify against him in court.

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Bryant was killed last month in a helicopter crash that also killed his 13 year-old daughter Gianna as well as seven others.

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King received backlash from everyone from Snoop Dog to Bill Cosby, who is in prison for his own sexual assault crimes.

“Bill Cosby is… tweeting from jail and she’s not doing well and feels she was put in a really terrible position because that interview had already ran and in the context of the interview, everyone seemed fine,” Oprah added. “It was only because somebody, at the network, put up that clip. And I can see how people would obviously be very upset if you thought that Gayle was trying to press to get an answer from Lisa Leslie.”

King slammed CBS on Thursday, claiming that the network had posted an “out-of-context” portion of her interview with Leslie. She went on to say that she was “mortified,” “very angry” and declared that she would have “a very intense discussion” with CBS executives.

Though Oprah said “all things pass” and that King will eventually be “OK,” she also revealed that the CBS anchor is taking the backlash personally.

“She hasn’t slept in two days,” Oprah said. “The misogynist vitriol and the attacking, to the point where it is dangerous to be in the street alone because, it’s not just the people who are attacking. It’s the other people who take that message and feel like they can do whatever they want to because of it.”

Oprah made a point of talking to King personally on Friday morning, when she did not appear on the CBS morning show.

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“This is very hard, because, when you have social media, and the force of social media, and particularly people who didn’t see either interview, making attacks… to do it with such vitriol is hate and meanness,” Oprah said.

This comes after TMZ reported that CBS “staffers feel the network owes it to its talent to keep them out of messes like this” and that the network “failed by not protecting its undisputed star of the morning show.” Sources told TMZ that “some of Gayle’s coworkers are incensed over the backlash she’s getting.”

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