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Former Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant accused Walton of sexually assaulting her in 2014. 

By Michael Shapiro
April 25, 2019

The NBA and Sacramento Kings will launch a joint investigation into sexual assault allegations against coach Luke Walton, the league announced on Thursday. 

Walton is accused of sexually assaulting former Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant in 2014. Tennant claims she was assaulted in a Santa Monica hotel room when she met Walton to give him a copy of her book, for which Walton agreed to contribute a forward. 

Walton's attorney Mark Barute released a statement regarding the allegations on Wednesday. 

"These claims are false and Luke’s innocence will be proven in court. Yesterday's press conference was a poorly staged attempt to portray the accuser as a viable spokesperson for an important movement," Baute said, per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "Her lawyers want to create a public circus to distract from their complete lack of evidence to support their outrageous claims. We will not try this case in the media or pay them a dime.”

Tennant discussed her allegations and provided an account of the alleged incident at a press conference on Tuesday. 

"I walked up to the hotel with him and continued to tell myself not to overthink it and that I could trust him," Tennant said. "Out of nowhere he got on top of me and pinned me down to the bed, and held my arms down with all of his weight while he kissed my neck and my face and my chest."

Sacramento hired Walton on April 13, just one day after he parted ways with the Lakers.

Walton was an assistant coach with Golden State at the time of the alleged incident. The Warriors released a statement of their own on Monday, noting the organization is "in the process of seeking more information."

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