What happened: King asked Leslie if she thinks Bryant — who died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash — will have a tarnished legacy because of the 2003 sexual assault allegations, according to Business Insider.
- King: “Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?”
- Leslie: “It’s not complicated for me at all.”
- Leslie said Bryant 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.”
- Leslie: “I think the media should be more respectful at this time. If you had questions about it, you had many years to ask him that. I don’t think it’s something that we should keep hanging over his legacy.”
Some context: NBC News said: “Bryant was accused in 2003 of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado. He was charged with rape, but the case was dropped after the accuser declined to testify. A civil suit was later settled. The NBA star, who married wife Vanessa in 2001, admitted to having had sex with the woman, but insisted that it was consensual.”
- King: “I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I would be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified. I’m embarrassed and I am very angry. Unbeknownst to me my network put up a clip from a very wide-ranging interview, totally taken out of context and when you see it that way it’s very jarring.”
- “It was wide-ranging. ... Yes, we talked about that court case because that court case has also come up. And I wanted to get Lisa’s take on it as a friend who knew him well.”