Rose McGowan found a way to defend both Kobe Bryant and Gayle King in one tweet on Sunday. The actress and activist went after those condemning King, however, saying that they should instead learn from Bryant's apology to his sexual assault accuser.
To many people, McGowan is the public face of the Me Too movement over the last few years. On Sunday, she weighed in on the conversation about Bryant's past sexual assault allegations, which have loomed over coverage of his tragic death two weeks ago. McGowan, at least, seemed to feel that Bryant had found redemption.
"You want to know why Kobe Bryant is a hero? He apologized to a hurt young woman," McGowan tweeted. "Snoop [and] others it's time to stop terrorizing [Gayle King and Felicia Sonmez]. Truth hurts. Death hurts. Grow the f— up. Kobe stopped hurting women, so can you."
You want to know why Kobe Bryant is a hero? He apologized to a hurt young woman. Snoop & others it’s time to stop terrorizing @gayleking & @feliciasonmez Truth hurts. Death hurts. Grow the fuck up. Kobe stopped hurting women, so can you pic.twitter.com/EEkg6u1HNM— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 9, 2020
McGowan included a transcription of Bryant's apology to his accuser back in the early 2000s.
"First, I want to apologize to the young woman involved in this incident," he said. "I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and the consequences she has suffered in the last year... Although I truly believe this encounter was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."
"After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand that she feels that she did not consent to this encounter."
McGowan's tweet seemed to imply that she saw a lot of growth in Bryant through this apology. By contrast, she seemed to think it was immature for other stars like Snoop Dogg to condemn King for bringing up the sexual assault allegation in a recent interview.
King asked WNBA star Lisa Leslie if she thought the 2003 sexual assault charge complicated Bryant's legacy. The question fueled outrage among those mourning Bryant, and even King later said that she thought it seemed inappropriate when taken out of the context of the broader interview.0comments
Still, King's defenders feel the vitriol in the backlash to her question goes to show how much further there still is to go for public discourse on sexual assault. In one Instagram post, Snoop Dogg asked: "is it only blacks that y'all wanna interview and try and tarnish they reputation over accusations? F— both you h— on behalf of the whole hood u b—s not with us."
Bryant was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in Eagle, Colorado in 2003, when he was 25 years old. A 19-year-old hotel employee there claimed that Bryant had sexually assaulted her during his stay. However, she eventually refused to testify in court, and the criminal case was dropped. She then filed a civil lawsuit against Bryant, which was settled out of court.