New Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton has been accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit by a former sports activities reporter.
“I assumed he was going to rape me,” Kelli Tennant stated at a information convention Tuesday, at some point 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 stated Walton, whom she thought of to be a longtime good friend and mentor, had written the ahead to a 2014 guide she had written. She went to offer him a replica whereas he stayed at a resort in Santa Monica throughout a Warriors street journey to Los Angeles.
Tennant stated Walton met her within the foyer and invited her again to his room. After discussing the guide, Tennant stated Walton all of a sudden grabbed her.
“Out of nowhere, he bought on high of me and pinned me all the way down to the mattress and held my arms down with all of his weight whereas he kissed my neck and my face and my chest,” Tennant stated, including that when she requested him to get off, “he laughed at me.”
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Tennant stated Walton relented and she or he began to go away the room when he grabbed her once more and kissed her ears and neck. She stated he lastly stopped, laughed and stated “good to see you” earlier than she left the room.
Tennant stated she confided with individuals on the time however by no means filed expenses.
“I used to be scared,” she stated. “I felt coming ahead would jeopardize each side of my life.”
Tennant stated she was afraid of Walton and it took her time “to have the ability to muster up the braveness” to go public.
“When somebody assaults you and also you suppose you’re going to be raped, coming ahead is a scary factor. I’ve spent years now making an attempt to take care of this,” she stated.
Her lawyer, Garo Mardirossian, stated as a result of years had handed, he believed it will be troublesome to file the report now with police and put collectively a felony case.
“Police departments will not be very more likely to become involved in a case this outdated presently,” Mardirossian stated.
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Tennant filed the swimsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket.
Walton’s lawyer, Mark Baute, referred to as the allegations “baseless.”
“The accuser is an opportunist, not a sufferer, and her declare shouldn’t be credible,” Baute stated in a press release. “We intend to show this in a courtroom.”
Tennant stated Walton continued to harass her after he grew to become coach of the Lakers and she or he was working as a broadcaster in Los Angeles for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA. She now does a wellness podcast.
Mardirossian accused the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation of getting a sexist tradition.
“Aided by their fame, cash and energy, and motivated by a tradition that tolerates misogynistic gender-bias, too many males in skilled basketball inappropriately abuse girls,” he stated in a press release issued earlier than the information convention.
Walton was dismissed by the Lakers this month and employed by the Kings. The Kings say they’re conscious of the report and gathering info. The crew had no different remark.
The Lakers stated the allegation was by no means reported to the crew earlier than or throughout Walton’s employment.
“If it had been, we might have instantly commenced an investigation and notified the NBA,” the Lakers stated, declining additional remark.