Gayle King Admits She Was Shocked When Ivanka Trump Contacted Her Following Kobe Bryant Interview Backlash

Last month, a clip from an interview Gayle King conducted with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie after Kobe Bryant's death went viral, in which King asked Leslie about the rape allegations against Bryant. King received a huge amount of backlash as well as support from both fans and celebrities including, in a surprise to King, Ivanka Trump.

"What surprised me is the people that came to reach out to me in unexpected places," King said on Saturday during the final stop of Oprah Winfrey's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour in Denver, via Hollywood Life. "Ivanka Trump, it’s not like I’m hanging out at The White House, but Ivanka Trump reached out to me to say, 'Are you OK? I’m sorry that this is happening to you.' I mean, I have to say I was very touched by that."

She also shared another unexpected source of support. "Sean Spicer reached out to me! Who I don’t know at all!" King said.

The journalist added that she had received a sweet surprise from Katie Holmes and her daughter, Suri Cruise, who left King a box of cupcakes at New York City home with a message that read, "Katie & Suri. We’re thinking about you."

King told Winfrey that she has since "moved on" after the interview.

"Is there a scab? Yeah. But I have moved on," she said. "I put on my game face and my big girl pants, because I never lost sight of who I was, what I believe I am, and my intention. I've never lost sight of that. ... But it certainly was a learning curve, and it was very painful."

After the backlash, Winfrey spoke out in support of King and noted on Saturday that the "good people" who stayed silent only continued the situation. "In every circumstance, I think this is something for us to remember," the mogul said. "It's not the people who are being mean, it's not the badness, it's not the vitriol that's being put into the world, but it's the good people who remain silent that becomes so hurtful."

"I think we can disagree politically, we can disagree socially, if you want to, but I just think humanity should prevail always," King mused. "I think we still have to figure out a way to navigate that with each other. That we can disagree, and you can be mad at me even, but you can't speak to me the way I was spoken to and threatened."

One of those threats came from rapper Snoop Dogg, who uploaded an angry video to Instagram and later apologized.


"I accept the apology and understand the raw emotions caused by this tragic loss," King said in a statement to The Associated Press at the time. "As a journalist, it is sometimes challenging to balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times," she added. "I don't always get it perfect but I'm constantly striving to do it with compassion and integrity."

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