By Evan Bleier / April 23, 2019

Kings Coach Luke Walton Sued for Sexual Assault

The lawsuit alleges Walton assaulted a woman before he was named coach of the Lakers

New Kings coach Luke Walton. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
New Kings coach Luke Walton. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

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A lawsuit filed against Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton alleges he sexually assaulted a female sports reporter some time before he was named coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in April of 2016.

The civil lawsuit alleges Walton made an unwanted physical advance toward former Spectrum SportsNet LA host Kelli Tennant in a Santa Monica hotel room while he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.

According to Tennant’s lawsuit, Walton pinned her to the bed and forcibly kissed her and groped her after she went to the room to show him a copy of her book which he had written the foreword for. He eventually stopped and laughed as she left the room, the suit says.

Following the alleged incident, Tennant confided with friends about it but never filed criminal charges.

The Kings say they are aware of the report and are gathering additional information about the alleged incident. The NBA is also conducting an independent investigation into the matter, according to ESPN.

Walton went 98-148 in three years with Los Angeles. This year, the team went 37-45 despite having LeBron James and failed to make the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

While serving as interim coach of the Warriors when head coach Steve Kerr was sidelined following complications from back surgeries, Walton led the team to a 39-4 record, including 24 straight wins to open the 2015-16 season.

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