He was a trusted friend and colleague, so when he invited her to his hotel room that day in 2014, she told herself not to over think it. Then, out of nowhere, he allegedly pinned her down on the bed with all his weight, kissing her, rubbing himself against her, and laughing at her pleas to stop. “I thought he was going to rape me.” Sitting beside her attorney in a vacant sports bar next to her attorney’s Los Angeles office, her voice succinct, strong and unemotional, 31-year-old former sports reporter Kelli Tennant on Tuesday spoke for the first time publicly about the day in a Santa Monica hotel room she says she was sexually assaulted by Luke Walton, who was then an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.
Tennant said she was 25 at the time of the alleged attack, and just one year into an important job at Spectrum Sportsnet LA. She did not report it to police or to her bosses. “I was scared,” she said. “When someone assaults you and you think you’re going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing. I have spent years hoping I could push it to the side and bury it, but that was not the case. I was able to muster up the courage … to feel comfortable to talk about this.”