Report: Luke Walton being sued for sexual battery

Luke Walton
Mar 27, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton watches the action against the Utah Jazz in the first half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Update 1:

The LA Times’ Tania Ganguli has confirmed the lawsuit against Luke Walton. However, her timeline places the incident when Walton was still an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers hired Walton in May of 2016. TMZ has removed their initially reported date (which can be seen below) off their story.

Update 2:

Ganguli further reports that the Lakers did not know about the allegations against Walton and that they did not have a bearing on his job status with the organization. Ganguli cites a “Lakers source” in her report.

Update 3:

Luke Walton’s lawyer, who also represented Derrick Rose in his civil sexual assault case, has released a statement to the media on his client’s behalf.

All three organizations that have employed Walton since the alleged incident have also released statements, all claiming to have not known about the allegations until now.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica police say they never got a report about Walton and are not currently investigating the allegations against him, via the LA Times.

Original story follows:

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton is being sued for sexual battery, according to TMZ Sports. The alleged incident occurred in 2017, when Walton was with the Lakers.

According to TMZ, former Spectrum Sportsnet host Kelli Tennant entered Walton’s hotel room in Santa Monica in May 2017 to work on a book for which he was to write the foreword. In the hotel room, Tennant alleges that Walton forced himself on her and kissed her without consent before eventually relenting due to her screaming.

Walton was dismissed by the Lakers earlier in April and has since been hired to be the next head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Tennant and Walton previously had a work relationship when the former Lakers player appeared on Spectrum’s Lakers coverage alongside her.

Tennant also reportedly alleges that Walton had, on several occasions, made inappropriate comments and advances toward her.

It’s not immediately clear if the Lakers were aware of these allegations during Walton’s three-year tenure or before his dismissal. The timeline of the alleged incident would put it just after Walton’s first year coaching the Lakers.

Details are currently sparse but we will update the situation as they become more available.

Leave a Reply