At her request, former local sports reporter Kelli Tennant’s lawsuit accusing ex-Lakers head coach Luke Walton of sexually assaulting her at a Santa Monica hotel was dismissed this week.
Tennant’s attorney filed paperwork Tuesday asking that the lawsuit be dismissed, and the case was officially dropped Wednesday, according to court records.
No reason was given for the dismissal. There was no word on whether the two sides had reached a financial settlement.
Tennant sued Walton in April, claiming he assaulted her in 2014 in a hotel room at the Casa Del Mar, where he was staying while working as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.
Walton’s attorney, Mark Baute, issued a statement in April denying the allegations.
“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said. “The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim and her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”
Walton is now the coach of the Sacramento Kings.
In August, the National Basketball Association and the Kings announced that they had investigated the allegation and found “there was not a sufficient basis to support” the accusations. League and Kings officials said Tennant “elected not to participate in the investigation,” which included interviews with more than 20 people, including Walton.
“Based on this and the available evidence, the investigators determined that there was not a sufficient basis to support the allegations made against Coach Walton,” according to the team and league.
“… 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.”
Tennant worked for the Spectrum SportsNet networks, working on baseball, basketball and soccer telecasts and studio shows for five years through 2017. She was a broadcaster on Amazon Prime’s coverage of the Association of Volleyball Professionals beach volleyball tour in 2018.
Tennant now hosts a podcast she describes as “advocating for women to help them heal, grow and elevate their lives.”
Walton coached the Lakers for three seasons, but he and team announced in April they “have mutually agreed to part ways.” He posted a 98-148 record during his tenure. He was hired as the Kings coach two days after his split from the Lakers.
The 6-foot-8-inch Walton played for the Lakers from 2003 through 2012 and was a member of their 2009 and 2010 championship teams. He is a son of Basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Walton.