Oh what a tangled web we weave.
Snoop Dogg’s blistering criticism of Gayle King’s controversial interview with WNBA pioneer Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant’s legacy has grown into a drawn-out battle within the black community.
President Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice tore into the chart-topping rap legend, firing off a warning to him to leave the lady alone.
“This is despicable,” the Washington D.C. native fired off in a Twitter response to the video of Snoop’s threatening remarks against the 65-year-old CBS This Morning co-anchor.
“Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the @#$% off,” Rice wrote. “You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”
The former United Nations ambassador’s remarks are the latest volley in a back-and-forth that has been a lightning rod on social media this past week, igniting a war of words and a battle of the sexes.
On Tuesday, CBS aired a “wide-reaching” interview King conducted with Leslie, a close friend to the Academy Award-winning NBA great who perished in a fatal helicopter crash with eight other people on Jan. 26.
During the chat, King raised the 2003 sexual assault charge against Bryant, a case that was ultimately settled out of court.
Referring to the unidentified accuser as a victim, she also probed Leslie further than many felt was necessary.
“Respect the family and back off, before we come get you,” the 16-time Grammy nominee, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., warned in a widely circulated Instagram video in which he also called Oprah Winfrey’s best friend a “punk motherf@#$er” and a “funky doghead bitch.”
In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a Colorado mountain resort employee. Charges were later dropped after the woman declined to cooperate with prosecutors. She eventually settled with Bryant out of court for an undisclosed amount—experts told the Los Angeles Times it was estimated to be over $2.5 million.
“That was 2003, some of his kids wasn’t even born,” Snoop said on Friday during an interview on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. “So, when you bringing that up you bringing up information to them that they don’t need to know nothing about.”
“I’m thinking about them at the same time,” he furthered. “They don’t need to hear that mess. He was not found guilty.”
The Long Beach-born gangsta rapper turned mainstream superstar has no plans to back down on his verbal attack against King, who—according to a teary-eyed Winfrey—is “not doing well,” hasn’t slept in days and now has to hire security.
“I’m going to keep riding on her until I see her face-to-face to let her know she was out of pocket,” Snoop doubled down.
He added: “If you’re going to be fair, be fair... if you’re going to be doing that journalistic stuff you need to make sure you need to focus on everybody and stop playing the field one way.”
King was noticeably absent from CBS This Morning Friday as the controversy continued to intensify.
According to NBC News, Snoop Dogg’s video has been viewed more than 2 million times with many of the comments appearing to support him.
Former NBA star Matt Barnes and ex-football player Reggie Bush both commented with a raised fist emoji while supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote, “Thank you @snoopdogg.”
Fellow NBA great LeBron James also joined the chorus, calling Leslie a “superhero” and seemingly siding with Snoop Dogg on Twitter.
“Protect @LisaLeslie at all cost! You’re a real Superhero!! Sorry you had to through that s*%#!!! We are our own worse enemies! . #Mamba4Life,” the Lakers star posted.