Rapper Snoop Dogg tried his best Saturday to clarify his comments aimed at CBS’ Gayle King after he was criticized by many big names on social media for appearing to threaten the newswoman.
The controversy began after video emerged of King asking WNBA star Lisa Leslie during a “CBS This Morning” interview.
“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge, which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you as a woman, as a WNBA player?” she asked.
The case was dismissed after Bryant’s 19-year-old accuser refused to testify on Sept. 1, 2004. He later released a public apology acknowledging while he believed the pair had consensual sex, he understands that was not the way she viewed the incident, Yahoo reported. She later brought civil charges against the Lakers star, which was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
In an Instagram video posted last week, Snoop Dogg, a longtime friend of the deceased basketball star, said “We expect more from you Gayle. Respect the family and back off, b—-, before we come get you.”
Snoop insisted that his comment was not a threat.
“Here’s a message for the people that need to know,” he said in the new video clip posted to Instagram. “I’m a non-violent person. When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family.”
“Now, with that being said, do I look like I would want any harm to come to a 70-year-old woman? I was raised way better than that. I don’t want to harm to come to her and I didn’t threaten her. All I did was said, ‘Check it out: you outta pocket for what you’re doing and we’re watching you. Have a little bit more respect for Vanessa, her babies, and Kobe Bryant’s legacy,’” he continued.
His remarks drew strong condemnation from across the spectrum as politicians, entertainers and athletes disparaged his words.
CBS News President Susan Zirinsky on Saturday labeled any threats against King “despicable.”
“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist. We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible,” she said.
Former national security adviser Susan Rice told Snoop Dogg to “back the **** off” from Gayle King after the rapper’s comments.
“This is despicable. 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.”
— Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice
Snoop Dogg had joined LeBron James, 50 Cent – and even Bill Cosby – in criticizing King for asking Leslie whether Bryant’s legacy had been complicated by the rape accusation, the report said.
King herself called the social media clip distributed by CBS from the interview “out of context,” adding she was “very angry” with the network.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., also stood up for King.
“For those threatening her and inciting violence, stop it immediately,” he tweeted. “This is unacceptable. We must do better.”
Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash in heavy fog on Jan. 26 while on the way to her basketball game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.