Kings coach Luke Walton is being sued by former SportsNet L.A. reporter Kelli Tennant for alleged sexual battery that occurred in a hotel room in May 2017, according to TMZ.
Legal documents obtained by TMZ claim Walton invited Tennant to his hotel room to discuss a book she was writing in which she wanted him to write the foreword, but he became aggressive and pinned her to the bed.
In the suit, Tennant says when she arrived at Walton’s hotel, he convinced her to come up to his room so they could discuss the book. She claims when they got up to his room, Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body.
In the docs, Tennant claims Walton then began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest. She claims she screamed for him to stop and tried to free herself, but he held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.
She says he eventually relented but grabbed her again when she was trying to leave, and acted inappropriately in future interactions they had in her time as a reporter.
Tennant covered the Lakers, Dodgers, and other teams on SportsNet broadcasts, but left the company after the 2017 Dodgers season, months after the alleged incident in the hotel with Walton.
Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times confirmed TMZ’s report that a lawsuit has been filed.
Can confirm Kelli Tenant filed a lawsuit accusing former Lakers coach, current Kings coach, Luke Walton of sexually assaulting her while he was an assistant with the Warriors. The Kings declined to comment saying only that they’re aware of the report and are gathering information
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) April 23, 2019
The Kings released a brief statement on Monday night acknowledging they were aware of the report and gathering further information.
The Kings have issued a statement regarding sexual assault allegations against their new coach, Luke Walton, as reported by TMZ.
“We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 23, 2019
The Lakers and Warriors also released statements late on Monday night.
Lakers have released the following statement on Luke Walton pic.twitter.com/oD7ttqiEO6
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) April 23, 2019
Statement from the Warriors on the allegation against Kings coach (and former Golden State assistant) Luke Walton: “We became aware of the alleged incident and story this evening and are in the process of seeking more information. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 23, 2019