Luke Walton sexual assault allegations: Accuser Kelli Tennant files lawsuit, speaks publicly about alleged 2014 incident

On Tuesday evening, Kelli Tennant, the woman accusing Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton of sexual assault, spoke publicly for the first time during a press conference in Los Angeles with her attorney. 

Tennant, who previously worked for Spectrum SportsNet LA, alleges that in 2014, she met Walton at his hotel to discuss her book, for which Walton was writing the forward. After he invited her to his room, Tennant says Walton pinned her down and tried to force himself upon her. 

She noted that her delay in bringing this lawsuit forward was due to fear. Via ESPN:

"When someone assaults you and you think you're going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing," she said. "And I have spent years now dealing with this, trying to forget about it, hoping that I could push it to the side and bury it and hoping that time would heal. And that was not the case. And I feel like over this time, I was able to muster up the courage and have enough conversations with [my attorney Garo Mardirossian] where I felt comfortable to talk about this."

The Sacramento Kings issued a statement on Monday night addressing the sexual assault allegations involving head coach Luke Walton. 

"We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time."

The Lakers also released a statement in response to the allegations, stressing that this alleged incident took place before Walton's tenure as Lakers head coach and also stating that it had not been made aware to them during his three seasons leading the franchise.

Walton was let go by the Los Angeles Lakers following the conclusion of a disappointing season, but was hired just a few days later by the Sacramento Kings.

In addition to the Kings and Lakers providing statements on the situation, the Golden State Warriors -- Walton's former employer from 2014 until 2016 -- also added their own official statement regarding the allegations.

The Kings officially introduced Walton as their new head coach just last week. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Walton's contract reportedly runs through the 2022-23 season, concurrent with the four-year extension awarded to GM Vlade Divac. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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