Oprah Winfrey defended her best friend Gayle King on Friday, stating the CBS This Morning host has received “death threats” after her viral interview with Kobe Bryant friend and WNBA player Lisa Leslie. In a promotional clip of the interview, King asked Leslie about Bryant’s 2003 sexual-assault case and his legacy after the basketball icon, his daughter, and seven others perished in a helicopter crash this month. “She is not doing well. May, I say, she is not doing well because she now has death threats and has to now travel with security. She’s feeling very much attacked,” Winfrey said in a Friday interview on NBC’s Today With Hoda and Jenna.
Winfrey added that King hasn’t “slept in two days” over the backlash—which prompted the journalist to slam her own network on Thursday for the promotional clip of the wide-ranging interview. She said the clip took her question about Bryant’s rape allegation “out of context.” “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 Gayle was trying to press to get an answer from Lisa Leslie,” Winfrey said.