NBA Clears Luke Walton In Sexual Assault Investigation

The NBA has announced that Kings coach Luke Walton has been cleared in the league’s investigation of a sexual assault lawsuit filed by a former television reporter, tweets Sean Cunningham of KXTV in Sacramento. Investigators hired by the league determined there isn’t enough evidence to support the allegations.

Kelli Tennant, who brought the lawsuit, was not part of the investigation, Cunningham adds (Twitter link). The investigators tried several times to interview Tennant, but she repeatedly declined through her attorney.

“I am 100% focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings, and energized to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start the preseason,” Walton said in a statement tweeted by James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I will have no further comment.”

The team also issued a brief statement that read, “Luke Walton is our head coach and we support him and his team as they continue to prepare for the upcoming season” (Twitter link from Jason Jones of The Athletic).

The Kings, who worked alongside the NBA in the investigation, had promised to take an “innocent until proven guilty” stance with their new coach. Walton was given a four-year contract in April, shortly after being fired by the Lakers.

Tenant filed the suit four months ago, claiming the incident happened in May of 2017 while she was interviewing Walton in a hotel room for a book she was putting together. She said he forcibly kissed her and rubbed his body against her even as she asked him to stop. Walton has denied the accusation, with his attorney calling her “an opportunist.”

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10 thoughts on “NBA Clears Luke Walton In Sexual Assault Investigation

  1. Gary

    The whole, alone with him in his hotel room thing is sketchy. Why not do the interview downstairs in the lobby? That’s if this whole thing happened at all. I guess it’s he said she said, and I’m just glad that the investigation came out that no crime was committed.

    Also notice how Walton and the kings are staying as far away from the accusation as possible in their statements. Crazy times we live in. You have to be careful with almost everything in today’s world.

    • jeremy

      Always she said he he said. These girls just find anyway they can to make a quick buck.

      • Gary

        Yes and then the crazy thing also is she did not get interviewed. She did not take the opportunity to speak her part. That’s a big wow.

        • SoCalBrave

          Why would she interview with the NBA? She’s in the middle of a lawsuit and does not gain anything from the NBA’s investigation. Because the NBA has cleared Walton, doesn’t mean the lawsuit goes away. That’ll be determined in a court of law.

      • Jason Lancaster

        All the girls that Cosby drugged and raped were after that fat cash? Weinstein’s accusers were all greedy too? Those underage gymnasts who accused that disgusting doctor were just trying to get paid? R Kelly’s accusers too?

        Who are YOU to say this woman is lying?

  2. carlos15

    I guess believing women no matter doesn’t make sense after all when there isn’t any evidence.

  3. Dodgethis

    Pretty amazing how all these women make (pound)MeToo allegations just as they are releasing books… certainly not trying to garner interest in an otherwise not going sell book, right?

  4. Jason Lancaster

    The comments here are just pathetic. A lot of scared, lonely men who can’t acknowledge bad things happen.

    It is NOT surprising that Tenant refused to cooperate. The NBA investigation is not a legal proceeding. It’s a sports league policing itself.

  5. Will299

    Or is it that she doesn’t want to give conflicting statements? Again, interviewing at night in private hotel room…alone…odd.

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