A National Basketball Association (NBA) coach is being sued for the alleged sexual assault of a sports reporter, U.S. media report.
A former sports reporter has filed a lawsuit in which she accuses new Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton of sexually assaulting her when he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. Walton was a Warriors assistant from 2014 to 2016.
'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. "I have spent years now dealing with this, trying to forget it about it, hoping that I could push it to the side and bury it, and hoping that time would heal", she said. And that was not the case.
"Over this time, I was able to muster up the courage and have conversations with [attorney Garo Mardirossian] where I felt comfortable talking about this".
Stay tuned for updates on the Walton situation.
"I was scared", Tennant said.
Tennant said in the lawsuit that she considered Walton to be a friend and mentor, and he had written the forward to her book. She added that she could feel Walton rubbing her with his erect penis "and he continued to laugh at all my pleas to get off and stop".
Luke Walton's attorney calls the allegations "baseless" and Tennant "an opportunist not a victim".
"Tennant claims Walton then began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest".
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The Kings say they are aware of the report and gathering additional information. The team had no other comment. But Walton, who was already aware that Buss had given Johnson the full authority to fire him and who had long harbored concerns about general manager Rob Pelinka's style, was ready to head for the exits himself.
'If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the National Basketball Association, ' the Lakers said, declining further comment. I kept begging him to please let go and to please stop.
TMZ said Tennant claims she asked Walton to stop.
The NBA has opened an investigation into the allegations against Walton, according to ESPN. After discussing the book, Tennant said Walton suddenly grabbed her. In a 2017 Outlier podcast, she spoke of how hard her job could be in a male-dominated profession.
As a sports reporter, Tennant had regular contact with Walton because he was a lead analyst covering the Lakers for SportsNet.
Tennant submitted her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit Monday, but Mardirossian said it was not officially filed by the court until Tuesday.
Tennant said she confided with people at the time but never filed charges.
"If it's a question that they would ask about a player they were drafting, I would be absolutely flabbergasted if the Kings weren't supposed to ask it of a coach who's supposed to be guiding those players", Pelosi said.
Tennant's attorney says they do not want Walton jailed, and do not have an amount of money in mind, but want Tennant "to feel better about herself". The NBA said it is working with the Kings on gathering more information.