LOS ANGELES — Sacramento Kings Head Coach Luke Walton was accused of sexual assault by former sports reporter Kelli Tennant, in a lawsuit filed Monday. On Tuesday, Tennant held a press conference with her attorneys in Los Angeles about her case.
Walton's attorney, Mark Baute, has called the allegations "baseless."
"The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, and her claim is not credible," Baute said in a statement. "We intend to prove this in a courtroom."
Here are five questions and answers from the news conference:
1. Why did you take so long to come out?
A. I was scared. When someone assaults you and you think you're going to be raped, coming forward is a scary thing. I have spent years now dealing with this, trying to forget about it, and hoping I can push it inside. And that was not the case.
2. What is your message to other women who have dealt with similar circumstances?
A: I always believe that if sharing my story helps one woman feel heard or safe than it's always worth it. And this is a very important conversation for me to have for myself. And if it gives a gateway for someone else to come forward then that's what matters to me.
3. Did you ever have a chance to confront Luke Walton and tell him how troubling this is for you?
A: I never talked to Luke about it. I was scared. When someone that you trust so much pins you down to a bed, holds you down with his body weight and makes you think that he's going to rape you, the last thing you think about is coming forward. I was scared for my job, my safety, and what my livelihood would be like.
4: Why did you never go to HR or law enforcement?
A. I was 25 when this first happened. As a young woman who had just started in this job, I was scared. And I felt that coming forward would jeopardize every aspect of my life.
5: Are there photos of any bruises?
A: Attorney Garo Mardirossian: There are no photos of bruises, no videos of the incident.
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