Snoop Dogg apologizes to Gayle King over Kobe Bryant controversy

CBS anchor Gayle King recently became the center of a major controversy. King asked WNBA star Lisa Leslie, a close friend of Kobe Bryant's, about the late basketball star's sexual assault case during an interview on CBS This Morning. Some people felt that King's line of questioning was inappropriate in the wake of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Jan. 26, 2020. 

The broadcast journalist received death threats and even caught heat from rapper Snoop Dogg. He posted a since-deleted video on Instagram, calling King a "funky dog-head b****" and telling her to "respect the family and back off, b****, before we come get you." He later clarified that he "didn't threaten" King, but did feel that she was "very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family," Variety reports.

Both King and Snoop have since followed up to clarify their positions on this controversy, with Snoop issuing a public apology to King.

Gayle King's interview was 'complicated'

The clip of Gayle King's interview that went viral and stirred up a tidal wave of backlash went like this: King references Kobe Bryant's 2003 sexual assault case and asks WNBA star Lisa Leslie if, "as a woman," that complicates Bryant's legacy. 

The L.A. Lakers icon was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel employee in 2003. Bryant said he believed their encounter was consensual. The case was dropped before trial because the accuser would not testify. Per The New York Times, Bryant settled a lawsuit with his accuser out of court, but the terms of that settlement have never been disclosed. 

During King's interview, she asks Leslie if the sexual assault case is something that should be left in the past or "is it really part of his history?" Leslie says the Black Mamba's reputation isn't complicated "at all," and she doesn't think "it's something that we should keep hanging over his legacy."

Snoop Dogg was one of many who publicly criticized King's interview, but the veteran journalist vehemently defended herself, tweeting that the viral clip wasn't an accurate depiction of her interview with Leslie. The clip, posted by the CBS This Morning Twitter account, was just one snippet of a "wide-ranging" interview. It was "totally taken out of context," King said. "I am mortified, I am embarrassed, and I am very angry."

Snoop Dogg was slammed for slamming Gayle King

Even before Gayle King shared her side of the story, some felt Snoop Dogg's reaction to the interview was totally uncalled for and took to social media to defend the broadcast journalist. 

"This video of Snoop threatening @GayleKing is disgusting," reporter Yashar Ali tweeted. The hashtag #IStandWithGayle even began trending on Twitter in response to all the abuse she received, per Newsweek. "As journalists, we often have to ask tough and uncomfortable questions," CBS Philly anchor Janelle Burrell tweeted. "It's within your right to disagree. What's not okay is to threaten anyone with vile, hate-filled language and death threats."

In his original video about King's interview, Snoop called King a "b****" and told her to "back off... before we come get you." Media titan Oprah Winfrey addressed the issue on Hoda & Jenna, revealing that her close friend had received death threats after the interview went viral and was "not doing well." CBS News President Susan Zirinsky called the threats against King "reprehensible," according to Time.

"Anybody can criticize anything, but the misogynistic vitriol to the point where it is dangerous to be in the streets alone...," Winfrey said. "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."

Snoop Dogg admits he was 'disrespectful' to Gayle King

Snoop Dogg apologized to Gayle King in a video on Instagram, CNN reported. "Two wrongs don't make no right," he says in the video. "When you're wrong, you gotta fix it." He continues, "Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions, me being angry at questions that you asked." Snoop adds that he "overreacted" and "should have handled it way different than that."

In the caption, the rapper says he talked about the situation with his mother. "I was raised way better than that," he says, admitting his language was "disrespectful." Snoop says he was "just expressing myself for a friend that wasn't here to defend himself." Lastly, Snoop expressed hope that he and King can sit down for a private chat. 

King did issue a public response to the rapper's mea culpa. "I accept the apology and understand the raw emotions caused by this tragic loss," she said in a statement to The Associated Press.