In the lawsuit, Walton, recently hired as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, is accused of assaulting former Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant at a hotel during his time as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors.
Per the Times, the lawsuit does not provide a date for the alleged assault, but says the incident occurred after a book written by Tennant was published in 2014. Walton, who the lawsuit says was a “mentor” to Tennant, wrote the foreword for her book.
The suit says Tennant was “afraid” Walton was going to rape her.
Walton was a mentor to Tennant, a former USC volleyball player, and she had known his wife for years because both were competitive volleyball players in college, the lawsuit says. She drove to the hotel to give him a copy of the book. He invited her to his room so as not to be in the public eye, according to court documents.
The lawsuit, which was examined by the Los Angeles Times, alleges that Walton suddenly “pinned Ms. Tennant on the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body.” He then “began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest.” The suit said she yelled for him to stop and tried to free herself as Walton groped her breasts and groin area. Eventually, the suit said, Walton relented.
Mark Baute, Walton’s attorney, said in a statement that Tennant’s claim is “not credible.”
“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom,” Baute said.
New Los Angeles Lakers draftee Luke Walton answers questions during a news conference at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo, Calif., Wednesday, July 2, 2003. (AP Photo/Jerome T. Nakagawa)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, center, jokes around with teammates Bryan Russell, left, and Luke Walton during the first annual Palms Casino Royale to benefit the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation, Thursday night, April 8, 2004, in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
** CORRECTS TO BYRON RUSSELL KNEELING NOT MALONE ** Los Angeles Lakers from left, Brian Cook, Luke Walton Rick Fox and Byron Russell, kneeling, watch as the Detroit Pistons win Game 4, 88-80, to take a 3-1 series lead in their NBA Finals in Auburn Hills, Mich., Sunday, June 13, 2004. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Los Angeles Lakers' Luke Walton poses for a television filming during Laker's Media Day in El Segundo, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 3, 2005. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) talks to teammate Luke Walton (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, Dec. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Lakers' Luke Walton, left, is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves' Marko Jaric, right, of Serbia during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Luke Walton smiles during a Los Angeles Lakers NBA post-championship basketball season interview at Lakers headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Tuesday, June 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton, left, works against Sacramento Kings guard Beno Udrih, right, of Slovenia, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, April 7, 2009. The Lakers beat the Kings 122-104. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Los Angeles Lakers' Luke Walton during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 in Minneapolis. The Lakers won 112-95. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Cleveland Cavaliers' Luke Walton (4) drives to the basket around Milwaukee Bucks' Ersan Ilyasova (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luke Walton (4) reacts after he was called for a flagrant foul against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half of an NBA basketball game at Philips Arena in Atlanta, on Monday, April 1, 2013. Atlanta won 102-94. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, right, talks to Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton calls a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Suns won 119-115. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Denver. The Nuggets won 115-100. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and head coach Luke Walton dispute a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton stands near the bench in the waning minutes of the team's NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 117-85. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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NBA releases statement
In a statement released Tuesday, NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said the league is “coordinating with the Kings organization” and is “in the process of gathering more information.”
Both the Lakers and Warriors said Monday that the alleged incident was never reported to them.
“This alleged incident took place before Luke Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. At no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers,” the Lakers’ statement said. “If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA. Since Luke Walton is now under contract to another team, we will have no further comment.”
Walton, after 11 years as an NBA player, rose to coaching prominence when he filled in for Steve Kerr as the interim coach of the Warriors during the 2015-16 season. He spent two seasons as an assistant with the team.
Like the Lakers, the Warriors said they were unaware of the alleged incident.
"We became aware of the alleged incident and story this evening and are in the process of seeking more information. We’ll have no further comment at this time,” the team said.