Report: Female reporter sues Luke Walton for sexual assault
New Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton is being sued by a female reporter who is claiming he forced himself on her in a hotel room during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, TMZ reports.
Kelli Tennant, a reporter who used to work for Lakers rightsholder Spectrum Sportsnet LA, is reportedly alleging that Walton assaulted her after calling her into his Santa Monica hotel room to discuss a book she was writing in May 2017.
The lawsuit reportedly claims that Walton pinned Tennant to the bed and forcibly kissed her on the neck, face and chest. She claims she screamed for him to stop and tried to free herself, but Walton held her down and rubbed his erection on her leg.
Walton eventually relented according to Tennant, but re-engaged her as she walked to the door and forced his body up against her. Once he released her, he reportedly said “Good to see you” as she left.
Tennant reportedly claimed she did not initially report the alleged assault and was forced to continue to interact with Walton due to her job. She said that Walton would often greet her with an aggressive hug or kiss despite her telling him the advances were unwanted.
Tennant left Spectrum Sportsnet LA in later that year and reportedly shut down her social media accounts for months. She eventually re-emerged with a job for Amazon Prime covering the Association of Volleyball Professionals tour and a podcast focusing on women’s issues, per the Press-Enterprise.
Walton did not respond to a request for comment, according to TMZ.
These accusations against Walton are emerging shortly after his firing from the Lakers following a chaotic season for the team that also saw the departure of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.
Walton was quickly hired by the Kings shortly after his firing.
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