Accuser drops sexual assault lawsuit against Kings Coach Luke Walton

Sports Hits: 519

Accuser drops sexual assault lawsuit against Kings Coach Luke Walton

The network reported there was no indication the sides settled out of court.

“I can confirm we received the dismissal and it’s nice to see that it was voluntarily and permanently dismissed by the claimant,” Walton’s lawyer, Mark Baute, said in a statement to ESPN Thursday.

Walton, who at the time of the alleged assault was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, has consistently denied Tennant’s claims. A brief filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court in July argued the allegations were not supported by facts and were fabricated to attract media attention, according to ESPN. The brief called the meeting between Walton and Tennant a “pleasant encounter.”

Tennant was a former correspondent for Spectrum SportsNet, a television network where Walton once worked as an analyst. Walton became a friend and professional mentor of Tennant’s, she said, and she asked him to contribute the foreword for a book she was writing on athletes moving on from sports after retirement. Tennant’s suit alleged the assault occurred during a visit to a team hotel to deliver a copy of the book.

Baute called the allegations “baseless” when the suit was filed and said Tennant was “an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible.”

Walton, the son of NBA legend Bill Walton, took over as head coach in Sacramento in April, two weeks before Tennant filed her lawsuit. He spent the previous three seasons coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, where he failed to produce a winning record despite helping entice LeBron James to sign with the team in free agency before the 2018-19 season.

Before that, he was considered a fast riser in the league and was the top lieutenant of Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr from 2014 to 2016. That team won an NBA championship in 2015. The next season, Walton filled in as interim coach while Kerr took a medical leave of absence. The team’s play under Walton helped fuel his ascent in the league’s coaching ranks.

Read more