Following the untimely death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the subject of the Lakers legend's sexual assault lawsuit has become a thorny issue. Gayle King, in particular, was met with backlash after she brought the case up, which Kobe settled out of court in 2005. Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and many more took issue with the topic coming up during such a sensitive time. Charles Barkley, however, thinks it's a part of his legacy that needs to be acknowledged.
Speaking on Today, Barkley was a part of a group discussion featuring Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal. When the topic was broached, the former basketball star made his feelings clear. "Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players ever, and he had a flaw that we all knew about," he explained.
"You have to tell the picture in totality. We're not trying to make Kobe out to be no hero, we're celebrating his basketball excellence," he continued. "We understand what happened in Colorado. That's fair, but two things can be true." Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old woman who worked at a hotel in 2003, but after she refused to testify, the charges against him were dropped.
Shortly before the two settled a civil lawsuit, Bryant issued an apology in which he acknowledged the woman did not see their sexual encounter as consensual. "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did," he said.