Snoop Dogg Clarifies Gayle King Kobe Bryant Criticism on 'Red Table Talk': 'Be Respectful of Vanessa'

Snoop Dogg is walking back his criticism of Gayle Smith for asking about Kobe Bryant's past sexual assault allegation during an interview, saying his strong reaction came from a place of love for the late NBA player's wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their daughters. In a sneak peek of Wednesday's new Red Table Talk episode, the rapper tells Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris that he was looking out for the Bryant family after Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine victims of a Jan. 26 helicopter crash.

"I wanted to make sure that what I said was said the right way. And I wanted to make sure that the message was across that we love Kobe and be respectful of Vanessa and those kids," he explains in the preview. "That’s what the whole intent was: To protect that woman and them babies over there because she's still grieving and let's give them that respect."

King angered Snoop when in her interview with WNBA player Lisa Leslie about Bryant's life and legacy on CBS This Morning, the journalist asked if Bryant's legacy was "complicated" by the past sexual assault allegation against him. The 2003 criminal charges against Bryant were eventually dropped and a civil case was settled out of court.

While Snoop originally came hard at King for the question, he apologized last week on Instagram, saying he had "overreacted."

"Two wrongs don't make no right. When you're wrong, you gotta fix it," he wrote. "Gayle King, I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner based off of emotions, being angry at questions that you asked."

"I would like to apologize to you publicly for the language that I used and calling you out of your name and just being disrespectful," he added.

King has since accepted his apology, saying she understood "the raw emotions caused by this tragic loss."

"As a journalist, it is sometimes challenging to balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times," she said in a statement to the Associated Press. "I don't always get it perfect but I'm constantly striving to do it with compassion and integrity."

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Red Table Talk will air Snoop's interview on Wednesday, Feb. 26 on Facebook Watch at 12 p.m. ET.

Photo credit: Eric Michael Roy