Friday 24 May, 2019

Kings, NBA launch probe into Luke Walton sexual assault allegations

Basketball coach Luke Walton.

Basketball coach Luke Walton.

The Sacramento Kings and the NBA have launched a joint investigation into sexual assault allegations made against coach Luke Walton.

Sacramento and the league released a statement on Thursday announcing they will look into claims made by Kelli Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA.

"The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation," the statement read.

Tennant filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this week, claiming Walton made unwanted advances towards her and assaulted her in a hotel room in Santa Monica, California, in 2014.

Those accusations have been vehemently denied by Walton, who was hired by the Kings earlier this month after parting ways with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the time of the alleged assault, he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

"Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations," Walton's attorney, Mark Baute, wrote in a statement released to the media.

"The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom."

Baute described Tennant's claims as an attempt "to create a public circus."

"We will not try this case in the media or pay them a dime," he said.

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