Amy Schumer isn’t the only celebrity standing up for Gayle King amid backlash and threats over the CBS This Morning host’s reference to Kobe Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case during an interview with the late Lakers star’s friend, WNBA legend Lisa Leslie.
Rose McGowan, who has accused producer Harvey Weinstein of rape and recently protested outside his New York City trial for separate incidents of alleged sexual assault, has weighed in, defending King as well as Washington Post journalist Felicia Sonmez, who was temporarily suspended by the paper after she shared a 2016 Daily Beast article about the allegations against Bryant shortly after his death in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
McGowan also called out rapper Snoop Dogg for his outcry over King, who is “not doing well” since being subjected to “misogynist vitriol” over the interview, according to her best friend, Oprah Winfrey. The former Charmed and Scream star also referred to Bryant as a “hero,” because he apologized to the “hurt young woman” at the center of his case. Bryant issued a public apology after settling with the then-19-year-old hotel employee out of court, after her case was dropped in criminal court.
“You want to know why Kobe Bryant is a hero?” McGowan tweeted. “He apologized to a hurt young woman. Snoop & others it’s time to stop terrorizing [Gayle King] and [Felicia Sonmez]. Truth hurts. Death hurts. Grow the f*** up. Kobe stopped hurting women, so can you.”
She attached a copy of Bryant’s written apology, in which the NBA star acknowledged that the woman “feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”
Reaction to McGowan’s tweet was mixed, with some saying they were “surprised” by her calling Bryant a hero given her #MeToo activism. Many commenters criticized her comments praising Bryant’s apology, while others thanked her.
Snoop Dogg, meanwhile, has clarified that he is a “non-violent person” who didn’t intend for threats to come King’s way.
“I’m a non-violent person,” he said in a video posted online. “When I said what I said, I was spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family. Now, with that being said, what I look like wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman [King is 65]? I was raised way better than that. i don’t want no harm to come to her. I didn’t threaten her. All I did was say, ‘Check it out. You’re out of pocket for what you’re doing and we’re watching you. Have a little bit more respect for Vanessa [Bryant, his widow], her babies and Kobe Bryant’s legacy.”
King, meanwhile, has accused her producers at CBS of misrepresenting her question to Leslie about Bryant’s “complicated” legacy. On Saturday, Susan Zirinsky, president of CBS News, issued a statement standing by the veteran journalist and decrying the “hateful and dangerous threats” against her.
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