Former Lakers coach Luke Walton accused of sexual assault in lawsuit

first_img Support The Guardian Since you’re here… Share on Facebook US sports Share on Twitter Sacramento Kings Los Angeles Lakers Share on WhatsApp Golden State Warriors Topics … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.center_img news Share on Pinterest Basketball Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn NBA Share via Email New Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton has been accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit by a former sports reporter. Kelli Tennant filed the suit in Los Angeles on Monday alleging that Walton assaulted her in a hotel room in Santa Monica during his time as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.According to the suit, Tennant considered Walton to be a friend and mentor and was also friendly with his wife before the incident. She alleges the incident occurred when she tried to deliver him a copy of her book – that Walton wrote the forward for – while he stayed at the Casa Del Mar Hotel during a Warriors road trip to Los Angeles. Tennant says Walton met her in the lobby and invited her back to his room. After discussing the book, Tennant claims Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, and forcibly kissed her. She alleged she shouted “Stop!” but Walton used his full body weight to keep her on the bed, where he groped her and forcibly kissed her. She says he laughed as she asked him to stop.The suit goes on to claim Walton finally relented before he grabbed her again and kissed her ears and neck. Tennant says he finally stopped, laughed and said “Good to see you” before she left the room.Tennant says she confided with people at the time of the alleged attack but never filed charges. She claims Walton continued to harass her after he became coach of the Lakers and she was working as a broadcaster in Los Angeles for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA.The Warriors and Lakers said they both first heard of the allegations after TMZ reported the lawsuit on Monday night and had no further comment. “At no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers,” a statement from the Lakers read. “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.”Walton was an assistant with Golden State from 2014-16 before being hired as Lakers head coach. He also played for the Lakers from 2003 to 2012. Walton was dismissed by the Lakers earlier this month and hired by the Kings. The Kings say they are aware of the report and gathering additional information. The team had no other comment. Reuse this contentlast_img

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