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Allegations of improper conduct against Walton were made in April.

By Emily Caron
August 23, 2019

The NBA and Sacramento Kings announced that the investigation into head coach Luke Walton regarding improper behavior has been closed. The investigators determined that there was "not a sufficient basis to support the allegations made against Coach Walton."

The allegations of improper conduct were made by Kelli Tennant, who elected not to participate in the investigation, the league and team said. Tennant claimed Walton met her in a Santa Monica hotel room and "forced himself on her." Tennant reportedly "had a business relationship that went back several years [with Walton] and she wanted him to write a foreword." Walton authored the foreword to a book Tennant published in 2014.

Tennant filed a civil lawsuit against Coach Walton on April 22, 2019, and held a press conference the next day in which she described claims of sexual assault, verbal and physical harassment, and unwanted physical contact over a three-year period while Walton was a Warriors assistant coach. The new Kings coach served as an assistant head coach with Golden State from 2014-16. He led Golden State to a 39–4 start in 2015-16 as an interim head coach as Steve Kerr recovered from offseason back surgery before departing for the Lakers.

"I am 100% focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings, and energized to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start the preseason," Walton said in a statement after the announcement. "I will have no further comment."

Sacramento and the NBA launched an investigation two days after Tennant's press conference, which was led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, from the Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Elizabeth Maringer, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of the NBA.

More than twenty individuals were interviewed during the course of the investigation, including Walton, and numerous documents and other relevant materials were reviewed. The investigators made repeated attempts to interview Ms. Tennant, but, through her counsel, she declined the opportunity to participate. The investigation is considered closed unless new evidence becomes available.

The Kings hired Walton as their new head coach on April 13 after Los Angeles fired him.

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