NBA Basketball

Kings coach Luke Walton accused of sex assault in lawsuit

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) New Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton has been accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit by a former sports reporter.

"I thought he was going to rape me," Kelli Tennant said at a news conference Tuesday, one day after TMZ reported that she was suing Walton.

Tennant alleges that Walton attacked her when he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, which was from 2014 to 2016.

Tennant said Walton, whom she considered to be a longtime friend and mentor, had written the foreword to a 2014 book she had written. She went to give him a copy while he stayed at a hotel in Santa Monica during a Warriors road trip to Los Angeles.

Tennant said Walton met her in the lobby and invited her back to his room. After discussing the book, Tennant said Walton suddenly grabbed her.

"Out of nowhere, he got on top of me and pinned me down to the bed and held my arms down with all of his weight while he kissed my neck and my face and my chest," Tennant said, adding that when she asked him to get off, "he laughed at me."

Tennant said Walton relented and she started to leave the room when he grabbed her again and kissed her ears and neck. She said he finally stopped, laughed and said "good to see you" before she left the room.

Tennant said she confided with people at the time but never filed charges.

"I was scared," she said. "I felt coming forward would jeopardize every aspect of my life."

Walton's attorney, Mark Baute, called the allegations "baseless."

"The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible," Baute said in a statement. "We intend to prove this in a courtroom."

Tennant said she was afraid of Walton and it took her time "to be able to muster up the courage" to go public.

"When someone assaults you and you think you're going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing. I have spent years now trying to deal with this," she said.

Her attorney, Garo Mardirossian, said because years had passed, he believed it would be difficult to file a report now with police and put together a criminal case.

"Police departments are not very likely to get involved in a case this old at this time," Mardirossian said.

Tennant filed the suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Tennant said 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. She now does a wellness podcast.

Mardirossian accused the NBA of having a sexist culture.

"Aided by their fame, money and power, and motivated by a culture that tolerates misogynistic gender bias, too many men in professional basketball inappropriately abuse women," he said in a statement issued before the news conference.

Walton was dismissed by the Lakers this month and hired by the Kings. The Kings said they are aware of the report and gathering information. The team had no other comment.

The Lakers said the allegation was never reported to the team before or during Walton's employment.

"If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA," the Lakers said, declining further comment.

---

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated April 23, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

NBA Scoreboard
Thursday, May 23
Toronto 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST6:30 CST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 CT23:30
Preview
Milwaukee 
NHL Scoreboard
Monday, May 27
St. Louis 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST6:00 CST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT
Boston 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Kansas City8Bot
8th
St. Louis0
Miami04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit0
LA Dodgers04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay0
Kansas City 4:45 PT5:45 MT6:45 CT7:45 ET19:45 ET23:45 GMT7:45 4:45 MST6:45 EST5:45 CST7:15 VEN3:45 UAE (+1)6:45 CT
Preview
St. Louis 
American League
Oakland7Bot
7th
Cleveland0
Seattle0Bot
6th
Texas1
NY Yankees04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore0
Boston04:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto0
Chi White Sox 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST6:10 CST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Houston 
Minnesota06:07 PT7:07 MT8:07 CT9:07 ET21:07 ET1:07 GMT9:07 6:07 MST8:07 EST8:37 VEN5:07 UAE (+1)8:07 CT
Preview
LA Angels0
National League
Cincinnati8Bot
6th
Milwaukee6
Arizona012:40 PT1:40 MT2:40 CT3:40 ET15:40 ET19:40 GMT3:40 12:40 MST2:40 EST3:10 VEN23:40 UAE2:40 CT
Preview
San Diego0
Colorado04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh0
Washington04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets0
Philadelphia 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST6:05 CST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Chi Cubs 
Atlanta 6:45 PT7:45 MT8:45 CT9:45 ET21:45 ET1:45 GMT9:45 6:45 MST8:45 EST7:45 CST9:15 VEN5:45 UAE (+1)8:45 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Indianapolis4Final
Louisville3
Pawtucket 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
Toledo 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Columbus 
Durham 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Norfolk 
Syracuse 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Lehigh Valley 
Buffalo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Rochester 
Charlotte 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Gwinnett 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, May 22
Geneva Open (ATP)
Second Round
(4) M. Fucsovics4 2    
F. Delbonis6 6    
(5) R. Albot6 63 6   
J. Londero1 77 4   
(3) C. Garin2 6 4   
T. Daniel6 4 6   
N. Jarry6 6    
D. Kudla3 3    
J. Sousa0 3    
A. Ramos-Vino6 6    
(2) S. Wawrinka6 3 4   
D. Dzumhur3 6 6   
 
Lyon Open (ATP)
Second Round
(3) D. Shapovalov2 77 6   
U. Humbert6 63 2   
P. Cuevas4 3    
B. Paire6 6    
(6) R. Gasquet     
T. Fritz     
(2) R. Bautista A4 6 6   
C. Moutet6 4 3   
S. Diez6 62 3   
J. Tsonga3 77 6   
(1) N. Basilashvi7 7    
T. Lamasine5 5    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, May 22
Internationaux de Strasbo (WTA)
Second Round
X. Han3 3    
C. Paquet6 6    
(7) S. Zheng3 1    
M. Kostyuk6 6    
(4) C. Garcia6 6    
R. Peterson2 3    
D. Gavrilova4 6 7   
A. Hesse6 2 5   
 
Nuremburg Cup (WTA)
Second Round
(5) E. Alexandrov0 4    
V. Kudermetov6 6    
N. Stojanovic6 0 6   
S. Sorribes T1 6 3   
(1) Y. Putintseva710 6    
M. Barthel68 1    
M. Brengle78 6    
K. Pliskova66 0    
(8) A. Petkovic3 1    
A. Friedsam6 6    
S. Cirstea6 66 6   
L. Paar4 78 0   
(2) K. Siniakova4 6 6   
J. Larsson6 0 3   
(3) A. Tomljanovi3 4    
T. Zidansek6 6