Bill Cosby Tweets from Penitentiary to Bang on Gayle King’s Kobe Bryant Comments

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby tweeted from prison to weigh in on what he called Gayle King’s attempt “to tarnish the image and legacy” of Kobe Bryant. In the original photo Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. Cosby’s retrial will be delayed as his new legal team gets up to speed on the case. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent aren’t the only high-profile Black men to criticize Gayle King for questioning Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant’s dismissed sexual assault case from 2003. Bill Cosby tweeted from prison to weigh in on what he called King’s attempt “to tarnish the image and legacy” of the late basketball legend.

In response to Snoop Dogg, Cosby tweeted, “when they brought me to my gated community and placed me inside of my penthouse, they didn’t win nor did they silence me. It’s so sad and disappointing that successful Black Women are being used to tarnish the image and legacy of successful Black Men even in death.”

Cosby tweeted the comments in response to an interview King did with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, who was a good friend of Bryant’s. During the interview, the CBS anchor brought up the sexual assault case and asked if it complicated Bryant’s legacy.

“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge, which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you as a woman, as a WNBA player?” King asked Leslie.

“It’s not complicated for me at all,” Leslie replied. “Kobe’s not the kind of guy, (he’s) never been like, ‘Lis’ go get that girl or tell her, or send her this.’ Kobe, he was never like that. I just never have ever seen him being the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That was just never the person that I know.”

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After Leslie’s response. King continued to press, stating Leslie wouldn’t see such a flaw in Bryant’s character because they were friends. Leslie doubled down on her comments.

“And that’s possible … I just don’t believe that. I’m not saying things didn’t happen, I just don’t believe that things didn’t happen with force,” Leslie said.

The backlash King received was immediate, intense and widespread – from celebrities and fans alike. In a follow-up to his first tweet, Cosby questioned the motives of King and other Black women he said were being used against Black men, then thanked the people who still supported him.

“Are these people that in need of fame, ratings and/or money? On behalf of myself, Camille and my family, thank you, thank you and thank you. My heartfelt prayers are with Kobe and his family, as well as with Michael Jackson and his family. May their legacies live on forever,” Cosby wrote.

This isn’t the first time Cosby has tweeted while in prison. He sent a Father’s Day greeting via Twitter last year, which he dictated to his rep Andrew Wyatt, according to TMZ.

Disgraced as America’s Dad, Cosby’s words caused an uproar on Twitter. Some users agreed with him, while others challenged him on his audacity to weigh in on Bryan’t sexual assault case given his conviction and prison sentence.

King expressed her outrage with her own CBS network for the teaser clip in an Instagram post. She said it was “taken totally out of context,” noting she understood the reason for backlash.

“I’ve been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant and I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too,” King said during an Instagram story. “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.”