Oprah Winfrey Reveals Michelle Obama Photo Amid Gayle King's Kobe Bryant Controversy

In the hours after Oprah Winfrey spoke out about her best friend, Gayle King's condition following ongoing controversy targeting the CBS This Morning co-host with death threats after bringing up Kobe Bryant's past rape allegations in an interview, the former daytime host is doing her best to look ahead with her latest social media snapshot alongside Michelle Obama. Winfrey shared a snapshot on Saturday night of the former First Lady visiting her on the 2020 Vision Tour in Brooklyn, New York, and fans had some thoughts over the image.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

"First Lady [Michelle Obama] was as vibrant, as funny, as truth-telling, as you imagine her to be," Winfrey wrote in the caption. "Thank you for giving up your Saturday to be with me in Brooklyn. NYC: There is no place like you."

While a large majority of fans were loving the image and seeing Obama after so many months away from the spotlight, others couldn't help but bring up King's controversy over the Bryant allegations.

"Don't try to put Michelle in this Oprah," wrote one fan, insinuating how hanging out with Obama was a way to manage damage control.

"Please tell Gayle to stop bashing Kobe's legacy," wrote another fan.

Others could care less over the controversy, adding in a plethora of supportive remarks and compartmentalizing the subject matter.

"Black woman excellence, class, and intelligence personified," added one fan, while another complemented the two as "queens."

The snapshot comes hours after Winfrey broke her silence on the Today Show with Hoda and Jenna over criticism surrounding King's line of questioning with retired WNBA star, Lisa Leslie. In the interview, which aired on the CBS morning show, King asked Leslie if the NBA star's legacy would be "complicated" following the 2003 rape allegations, which have since been dropped. Though Leslie admitted "it's not complicated" for her at all as she had "never seen him being the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way," the clip immediately sparked backlash, prompting King to address the criticism on Instagram and Twitter in a series of videos.

While King mentioned that the clip on the morning show shared was "unbeknownst" to her and "totally taken out of context," Winfrey backed her up on NBC Friday morning, admitting that her friend was not only receiving "death threats," but was "not doing well" at the moment.

"May I say, she is not doing well because she has now death threats, and has to now travel with security and she's feeling very much attacked," Winfrey said, getting emotional.

Referencing Bill Cosby's recent Instagram post from prison about King, Winfrey said that her best friend "was put in a really terrible position because that interview had already ran."

"And in the context of the interview, everyone seemed fine, including Lisa Leslie and it was only because somebody at the network put up that clip and I can see how people would obviously be very upset if you thought that Gayle was just trying to press to get an answer from Lisa Leslie," she continued. "But obviously all things pass, she will be okay but she hasn't slept in two days."

"Anybody can criticize anything, but the misogynist vitriol and the attacking to the point where it is dangerous to be in the streets alone because it's not just the people who are attacking, and the other people who take that message and feel like they can do whatever they want because of it," Winfrey said.

Acknowledging that "everybody has the right to have their opinion," Winfrey criticized those who are doing so "with such vitriol, hate and meanness," explaining that she is offering King support by speaking to her every day since the interview.


"You stand in the gap, you try to be there for your friends but this is very hard because when you have social media and the force of social media and people who didn't see either interview, making attacks, and I think everybody has the right to have their opinion but to do it with such vitriol, hate and meanness," she said.

Photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images