Gayle King tells Oprah she's 'moved on' from Kobe Bryant question backlash

"It certainly was a learning curve and it was very painful," King said at Winfrey's "2020 Vision" Tour.

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By Minyvonne Burke

Gayle King said she has moved on from the backlash she received over her asking WNBA star Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case.

"Is there a scab? Yeah. But, I have moved on. 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," the journalist told Oprah Winfrey on Saturday at Winfrey's "2020 Vision" Tour. "It certainly was a learning curve and it was very painful."

King came under intense criticism last month after she asked Leslie if she thought Bryant's legacy was "complicated" by his 2003 rape charge, which was ultimately dropped after the accuser declined to testify.

A snippet of the "CBS This Morning" interview was posted on Twitter on Feb. 4 and led to immediate outrage. About a week before the clip was posted, Bryant was killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people.

Snoop Dogg was one of King's harshest critics and posted a video on Instagram cursing at the journalist and appearing to threaten her. The rapper later deleted the video and apologized.

"I was raised way better than that," he said. "So 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."

King accepted the apology, saying in a statement that she sometimes finds it challenging to "balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times" and never intended for her interview to cause anyone pain as they grieved Bryant's death.

King on Saturday told Winfrey, her best friend, that dealing with the public scrutiny "rocked" her.

"I always try to operate from the 'do no harm,' that is always my intention," she said. "In doing that story and doing that interview, the intention certainly didn't align with the impact and the fallout that happened from that. But what got to me was the vitriol and the vulgarity that was just unleashed at me in ways that I couldn't even understand."

She added: "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."