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Snoop Clarifies Gayle King Comments Amid Backlash

Snoop Dogg clarified his comments regarding a recent online rant in which he criticized “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King for an interview with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie in which King broached the 2003 sexual assault accusation against late basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, 41, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Snoop Dogg felt that King’s questions to Leslie, a longtime friend of Bryant’s, about the rape case came too soon after the death of the Los Angeles Lakers icon.

“When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family,” Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., said in a video posted on Instagram Saturday. “I didn’t threaten Gayle King, but she was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant.

“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,” he said. “I don’t want no harm to come to her, and I didn’t threaten her. All I did was say, ‘Check it out. You out of pocket for what you doing and we watching you. Have a little bit more respect for Vanessa, her babies and Kobe Bryant’s legacy.'”

The 48-year-old rapper sparked the controversy by coming to the defense of Bryant and Leslie after an excerpt from the latter’s interview with King surfaced online, showing King pressing the issue of whether Bryant’s legacy is tainted by the 2003 sexual assault charge in Colorado.

Snoop Dogg, a longtime Lakers fan and himself a friend of Bryant’s, was among many who angrily condemned King after the clip was posted online by CBS. In an Instagram video posted Wednesday, the rapper told King to “respect the [Bryant] family and back off … before we come and get you.”

The 2003 charge against Bryant was dropped after the 19-year-old accuser stopped cooperating with prosecutors. Bryant maintained that the encounter was consensual, but later settled a civil suit brought by the accuser and ultimately apologized to her in a statement.

King, for her part, said she was “mortified” that CBS released the clip of the interview — which she stressed was largely complimentary of Bryant — and that it was misleading without the context of the full conversation.

CBS acknowledged that it mistakenly posted the clip online, while CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said the network “fully supports” King and “her integrity as a journalist,” calling threats against her and other journalists “reprehensible.”

Many others also defended King, 65, against Snoop Dogg’s comments, which critics said were misguided and misogynistic.

King’s backers included former national security adviser Susan Rice, who on Sunday posted a warning to the rapper on Twitter to stand down.

“This is despicable,” Rice wrote. “Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”

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