Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton is being sued for sexually assaulting a female sports reporter who claims he forced himself on her in his hotel room … this according to a new lawsuit.
In legal docs, obtained by TMZ Sports, Kelli Tennant claims while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica to drop off a book she had published.
FYI, Walton worked for the Warriors until April 2016, when he left to become the head coach of the Lakers.
In her suit, Tennant — who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA — says the 2 had a business relationship that went back several years and that’s why she had asked him to write the foreword in her book.
Tennant claims when she arrived at Walton’s hotel, he convinced her to come up to his room so they could “catch up.” But when they got to his room, Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body.
In the docs, Tennant claims Walton began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest. She claims she screamed for him to stop and tried to free herself, but he held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.
Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states.
Tennant claims Walton eventually relented and let her get up from the bed, but as she was walking toward the door to leave, he grabbed her from behind and again forced his body up against hers.
Tennant claims when Walton finally stopped and released her — he walked her out of the room as if nothing had happened.
“He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'” Tennant claims in her suit.
Tennant claims she did not initially report Walton’s conduct but was forced to continually interact with him because of her job. She says each time she saw him, Walton would make implied threats of additional physical threats through his conduct — imposing himself on her with big hugs or a kiss, even though she thought she made it clear his advances were unwanted.
In the suit, Tennant claims in May 2017 — while Walton was the head coach of the Lakers — there was an incident when Walton greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”
She says Walton also forced an aggressive hug on her and rubbed his body against hers.
It’s unclear, based on the docs, what finally prompted Tennant to come forward with her allegations.
Luke recently left his position as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is now coaching the Sacramento Kings. -TMZ