UPDATE: Sacramento Kings’ New Coach Being Sued For Sexual Assault

TMZ reports the Sacramento Kings head coach, Luke Walton is being sued for sexual assault by a female sports reporter.

By Marilyn Nelson on April 22, 2019
(Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

According to the lawsuit, Kelli Tennant claims for several years she and the former Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Luke Walton had a friendly, business relationship. She was writing a book and wanted him to write the foreward.

According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, she claims Walton asked her to meet him at his Santa Monica hotel in May 2017 to discuss the book. Once in his room, Tennant says “Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body.” He allegedly proceeded to kiss and grope her.

She says he finally backed down and let her leave but, “while walking towards the door to leave grabbed her from behind and forced his body up against hers.” 

Walton eventually released his grasp, and as she exited the room she could hear him say, “Good to see you.”

The Sacramento Kings hired Walton as the team’s head coach just over a week ago.

At this time, there has been no comment from Walton or the Sacramento Kings.


In legal documents obtained by TMZ, Kelli Tennant claims the incident described above actually happened while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Walton worked for the Warriors until April 2016. 

Tennant doesn’t say why she didn’t file a report at the time, but did continue to interact with him because of her job as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA. In the lawsuit Tennent says the unwanted, aggressive advances continued. In May 2017, after Walton became head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, she says there was an incident with Walton forcefully hugging and rubbing his body against hers.

The Sacramento Kings issued a statement Monday (4/22) night. “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”

Walton’s attorney strongly denies the allegations against his client. “Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Mark Baute told The Sacramento Bee. “The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”

The Lakers also released a statement in regard to the allegations. ““This alleged incident took place before Luke Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,” the team said in its statement. “At no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers. If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA. Since Luke Walton is now under contract to another team, we will have no further comment.”

A statement from the Golden State Warriors reads: “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.”

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