SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The woman accusing Kings head coach Luke Walton of sexual assault is speaking out. Kelli Tennant said she is no longer comfortable being silent about what she says happened to her.
Tennant, a former Los Angeles sports reporter, detailed her alleged attack by Walton in a press conference Tuesday.
Although no exact date was provided, Tennant said Walton assaulted her in a Santa Monica hotel room during his time as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors. She said she confided with people at the time, but no official police report was filed.
Tennant also claimed to have faced further harassment from Walton over the past three years while he coached and she reported for the Lakers. The alleged victim said she did not report the incidents due to her professional obligations with the Lakers and Spectrum SportsNet LA.
During Tuesday’s news conference she explained her decision to come forward.
“I was scared. When someone assaults you and you think you’re going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing, and I have spent years now, dealing with this, trying to forget about it, hoping that I could push it to the side and bury it, and hoping that time would heal,” Tennant said. “That was not the case, and I feel like over this time I was able to muster up the courage and have enough conversations with Garo that I felt comfortable to talk about this.”
During the press conference, Tennant also detailed her friendship with Walton, dating back a decade when his now wife competed against Tennant in volleyball.
Walton is being investigated by the Kings and the NBA. As of right now, he remains head coach in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Kings released an official statement Monday saying, “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.”
The Warriors said the team was “in the process of seeking more information” and had no further comment. Walton was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors from 2014 to 2016.
The Los Angeles Lakers, where Walton coached for three years before going to the Kings earlier this month, also released a statement.
“This alleged incident took place before Luke Walton was the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. At no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers,” the team said. “If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA. Since Luke Walton is now under contract to another team, we will have no further comment.”