CBS has released a statement regarding Gayle King's controversial interview with Lisa Leslie, where she bought up Kobe Bryant's 2003 rape accusations. According to TMZ, a rep for CBS News said, "Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview with Lisa Leslie about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made."

Yesterday morning, Gayle addressed the backlash, basically blaming CBS for deciding to post that clip from the interview. She said, "I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I'd be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified. I am 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's jarring to me. I didn't even know anything about it. I started getting calls . . . I did not know what people were talking about. "

King added that the sexual assault question was only a small part of a larger conversation about Kobe's life. She said, "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, what she thought, where that should stand. It was very powerful when she looked me in the eye, as a member of the media, to say, 'It's time for the media to leave it alone and to back off.' I felt really good about the interview ... so, for the network to take the most salacious part when taken out of context, and put it up for people who didn't see the whole interview, is very upsetting to me and that's something I'm going to have to deal with them. There will be a very intense discussion about that."

She ended her statement, saying that she meant not disrespect that and that she had hung out with Kobe on several occasions and he was a nice guy.


Meanwhile, LeBron James praised Lisa Leslie for the way she handled the interview, saying, "Protect @LisaLeslie at all cost!" He added, "You're a real Superhero!! Sorry you had to go through that s*%#!!! We are our own worse enemies! #Mamba4Life."