Leslie was born in San Diego, California and grew up in Compton. She attended St. Joseph High School and then Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she majored in English.
Upon graduation Leslie took a job as a general assignment reporter at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Leslie completed an internship at KCOP and was a desk assistant at KTTV before landing her first on-air job in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at WDAM. There she reported and anchored three shows a day and produced a newscast. She went on to work at WVUE in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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