10:41pm: The Warriors, who employed Walton as an assistant coach before he was hired by the Lakers, say they were unaware of the alleged incident, per a statement passed along by the New York Times’ Marc Stein (Twitter link). “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.”
10:18pm: An ESPN report from Dave McMenamin gives a conflicting timeline, saying the alleged incident happened before Walton was named Lakers coach in April 2016. “No one ever reported it to the team,” a source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “And that is not why the team parted ways with him.”
8:39pm: New Kings head coach and former Lakers coach Luke Walton is being sued by a female reporter for an alleged sexual assault in May 2017, according to a TMZ report relayed by Yahoo Sports’ Jack Baer.
Kelli Tennant, a reporter who previously worked for Spectrum Sportsnet LA, claims that Walton assaulted her in a hotel room in Santa Monica while discussing a book she was writing.
The lawsuit reportedly asserts that Walton forcibly kissed Tennant and rubbed his body against her despite pleas to stop.
Tennant claims she did not initially report the alleged assault since she had to continually interact with him because of her job, according to TMZ.
Tennant left Spectrum Sportsnet LA that year. She now works for Amazon Prime, covering the Association of Volleyball Professionals tour, and also has a podcast focusing on women’s issues.
The accusation casts a shadow over Walton and his swift hiring by Sacramento GM Vlade Divac.
The Kings issued a statement, Sam Amick of The Athletic tweets, which states, “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”