In April, the Sacramento Kings' new head coach Walton, was accused of sexually assaulting a former Los Angeles sports reporter Kelli Tennant.
Investigators working on behalf of the Sacramento Kings and the National Basketball Association determined there was "not a sufficient basis" to support allegations that Kings head coach Luke Walton sexually assaulted Kelli Tennant, the team announced in a statement on Friday.
There was no immediate word on what this means for Tennant's civil lawsuit against Walton, although that likely will continue. The conclusion was there was "not a sufficient basis to support" the allegations against Walton. Walton's court filing claims that Tennant filed a lawsuit almost five years after the alleged assault, which the brief calls a "pleasant encounter", after she quit two jobs and needed money.
Walton was hired by the Kings on April 13 just one day after being dismissed from his first head coaching job with the Lakers. Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) release said investigators attempted repeatedly to speak with Tennant but she opted through her legal representative not to take part. They ended their investigation on Friday, and the case will remain closed unless new evidence is brought to light.
Tennant claims in the court papers that Walton groped her breasts and groin area, and that he "laughed at her pleas to stop". "I will have no further comment", Walton said in a prepared statement.
"I am 100 percent 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.
The new Kings coach served as an assistant head coach with Golden State from 2014-16.
Walton's attorney dismissed the charges.
Tennant, who now runs her own business as a self-help motivator for women, said she tried to forget the episode, but couldn't.
"This type of behavior can not be condoned", Tennant said. "I thought he was going to rape me".