SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — The woman suing former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton for sexual assault gave details to the media on Tuesday.
Joined by her attorney Garo Mardirossian, former LA sports reporter Kelli Tennant described the alleged sexual misconduct that took place back in 2014 at a Santa Monica hotel.
Tennant said that Walton forced himself on her in his hotel room after he allegedly invited her to his room. Tennant said that she wanted Walton to have a copy of her book.
“Out of nowhere he got on top of me and pinned me down to the bed and held my arms down with all of his weight while he kissed my neck and my face and my chest,” Tennant said.
Tennant said that Walton laughed at her when she kept asking him to get off her.
She said that she continued to ask him to stop while he was holding her down.
“I thought that he was going to rape me,” said Tennant.
Tennant says she was finally able to get out of the room. She didn’t come forward right away because she feared her career would be over.
The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of former Spectrum SportsNet host Tennant, who alleges Walton assaulted her at Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica.
Tennant and her attorneys have not filed a police report. CBSLA asked them why.
“Our interest is not to have Mr. Walton put in jail necessarily,” said Mardirossian. “Our interest was for Kelli to feel better about herself.”
Walton’s attorney, Mark Baute, issued a statement, saying in part: “The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”
In a more complete statement released Wednesday, Baute said:
“These claims are false and Luke’s innocence will be proven in court. Yesterday’s press conference was a poorly staged attempt to portray the accuser as a viable spokesperson for an important movement. Her lawyers want to create a public circus to distract from their complete lack of evidence to support their outrageous claims. We will not try this case in the media or pay them a dime.”