Snoop Dogg admits he 'lost control' when he lashed out at Gayle King over Kobe Bryant: 'I was frustrated'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Snoop Dogg was a guest on a special edition of Red Table Talk to discuss the Gayle King controversy.

The rapper appeared on Wednesday’s episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch show to “discuss the culture of disrespect between black men and black women” tied to the drama around him lashing out at — then apologizing to — the CBS This Morning anchor for bringing up Kobe Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case in an interview shortly after the basketball star’s death.

Snoop said his outburst, which some felt was threatening toward King, came amid a lot of loss in his personal life. He said he hadn’t yet healed from the deaths of Nipsey Hussle, his infant grandson and his grandmother when he was dealt with the sudden loss of Bryant, who died with eight others, including the basketball star’s 13-year-old daughter, in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

"I let my emotions get the best of me,” the Doggystyle performer admitted. “I was frustrated on top of just venting and doing it the wrong way.”

Snoop spoke about his friendship with the Los Angeles Lakers star, explaining it started because they were both “fans” of each other. He talked about Bryant being a “superhero” to black men — a “stand-up guy” who was a great “father to his daughters.” He said Bryant was “transforming into that man we all want to be” — and it was clear his admiration ran deep.

Snoop Dogg appeared on Red Table Talk to discuss his criticism of Gayle King over the Kobe Bryant questioning. (Photo: Eric Michael Roy/Facebook Watch)

“Kobe was like the son and brother to L.A. that we all needed — and we all loved him for that,” he said. “From the early ‘90s to his last days of playing basketball, we watched him grow into a man, a father, a mentor, a leader and he was the kind of guy who was forgiving. He was the kind of guy who was apologetic. So I had to take that on and say ‘let me put a little bit of him in me,’” when it came to deciding to apologize.

When Pinkett Smith spoke about King’s line of questioning about Bryant’s rape case angering black men, he agreed and said that’s what led to him defending Bryant’s legacy. He felt it was a “collective feeling of: ‘You guys are targeting us. You guys are coming after us. And you guys are us.”

Snoop went on to say he felt there should have been sensitivity “for our superheroes” — like Bryant. “When somebody becomes a superhero — we don’t have a lot of them,” as members of the black community, so “it’s our job to protect that superhero.”

Snoop knew immediately that his comments would be controversial. He said it “got bad fast” from him “just venting” and being “mad” to the “whole world in an uproar.” Though he insisted that, “You may think it was more people against me,” but “it was more people with me.”

He blamed his poor delivery, saying he should have been more thoughtful with his words. He said he was just in a rush to get out his message, which was that, “We love Kobe and be respectful of [his widow] Vanessa and those kids.” He said the intent was “to protect that woman and them babies,” the couple’s three other children, “because she’s still grieving.”

Snoop said that a conversation with his mom ultimately led to his apology. “Mama called,” he said and while she didn’t tell him he was wrong, she made it clear she raised him better and to be more respectful of women. It made him realize that he didn’t get it right — and he had no problem admitting that.

He said that he didn’t consult anyone on his team before he apologized in an Instagram video. He wanted to put it out there in a video in his own words so that it came out as “authentic” and “sincere,” as it was meant to be. He said he knew people didn’t expect him to apologize, saying, “They thought I was going to hold onto my gangsta,” but “I don’t mind being checked... If I’m wrong, check me... I don’t want to repeat my mistakes... You have to want to be checked if you gonna check somebody. it’s the rule of the game.”

As for whether he’s spoken directly to King, who accepted his apology. he said he hasn’t. He reached out through mutual friends and associates as well as DMed her — an apology, a prayer and an offer to meet privately — but she hasn’t responded. He wanted to make sure to “put my effort forward because I was wrong.”

Snoop also noted some of the people he received support from amid the backlash, saying King pal Tyler Perry called him to show support as did Sean “Diddy” Combs and Van Jones.

“Powerful black men,” he said of the trio “and they didn’t bash me. They was just like, ‘Brother, we got your back if you need [anything], but we think that you shouldn’t have said it.’” He said the men have “a real brotherhood going on behind the scenes.”

Snoop said a takeaway after the whole incident was a feeling that “I had too much power — and at that particular time I was abusing it.”

Pinkett Smith said that King has an open invitation to appear on the show — and made the point that she is isn’t taking sides. Yahoo has reached out to a spokesperson for King, via CBS This Morning, and will update this story when we hear back.

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