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The National Basketball Association and Sacramento Kings have launched a joint investigation into the accusation that recently hired head coach Luke Walton allegedly committed sexual assault.
The 39-year-old Walton is the former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and former assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Reporter Kelli Tennant held a press conference Wednesday afternoon in which she accused Walton of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in late 2014. She has filed a lawsuit over the allegation.
Walton has denied the allegation and reportedly hired prominent attorney Mark Baute.
The NBA and Kings released a statement Thursday in which both parties said they would conduct their own investigation into Tennant’s allegation, which they take “very seriously.”
“The Kings have hired Sue Ann Van Dermyden, founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, who is an expert on employment law with decades of experience in conducting investigations, and Jennifer Doughty, a veteran investigator and senior associate attorney at Van Dermyden Maddux,” the statement reads. “The NBA’s investigatory team will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, senior vice president and assistant general counsel, integrity and investigations. Prior to joining the NBA, Ms. Maringer served 12 years as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, including three as deputy chief of the criminal division.”
Also on Thursday, former Lakers’ president of basketball operations Magic Johnson posted a tweet that some believed referenced the Walton situation.
“The truth will always come to light,” Johnson tweeted, along with a smiling emoji.
Users asked if he was talking about the Walton situation or about reports that Lakers’ star LeBron James was not happy with the team (reports that James has denied).
Johnson did not respond.
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