O.J. Simpson had some harsh words for Oprah Winfrey’s BFF Gayle King after she brought up Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case in a recent TV interview.
O.J. Simpson, 72, is speaking out against Gayle King, 65, after she brought up Kobe Bryant‘s 2003 sexual assault case in an interview on CBS This Morning. “The other thing is this Kobe Bryant, Gayle King thing,” O.J. began in a video shared to Instagram on Sunday, Feb. 9. “I know this thing about Kobe, she’s going to claim ‘journalistic integrity.’ A whole lot of people that have journalistic integrity didn’t feel that this was the right time to do that. There will be plenty of time in the future to bring up all aspects of Kobe’s life,” he continued, adding that he thinks that “right now we should be celebrating the greatness of Kobe and his family. God bless Kobe and his family. I’m just sayin, take care.”
Gayle made headlines after asking WNBA star Lisa Leslie if she thought that Kobe Bryant’s legacy was “complicated” for her, clearly referencing his 2003 case. Lisa quickly defended her longtime friend, who she has known since she was 18: “It’s not complicated for me at all,” she began. “He was not the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way…That’s just not the person that I know.” Kobe was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel employee in Colorado, but the case was later dropped after the accuser refused to testify. The NBA star later — then married to Vanessa Bryant, 37 — confirmed he had been intimate with the woman, insisting it was consensual.
Gayle has since been dragged online by celebrities, Kobe’s friends, and fans, but BFF Oprah Winfrey jumped her defense. “She is not doing well,” Oprah told Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush on Feb. 7, visibly emotional. “She is not doing well because she now has death threats and has to now travel with security. She is feeling very much attacked.” Gayle has since apologized for her comments, admitting she’s “mortified” by the response and explaining that the clip was “taken out of context.”
CBS, Gayle’s employer, has publicly come out to support the longtime host. “We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,” CBS News President Susan Zirinsky told The Associated Press on Feb. 9. “We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible,” Susan also added, declining to answer additional questions.
O.J., who has a complicated legal history himself, also admitted he didn’t have the best history with the CBS host. “I’m not the most objective guy when it comes to Gayle King,” he continued in the video, filmed outdoors. “Two years back on national TV that she made a comment that it was inappropriate for me to be visiting my ex-wife’s grave, something that my family and friends have done for years on birthdays, Christmas and special occasions — something that’s none of her business and I couldn’t understand why she felt the need to make that comment on national TV,” he added.