Head coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (file photo) Yong Teck Lim / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
NBA head coach Luke Walton is being sued by a woman who alleges he forced himself on her at a Santa Monica, California hotel, according to US media reports Monday.
Celebrity news outlet TMZ reported Walton had invited the woman, a sports reporter, to meet him at his hotel to discuss a book she was writing.
Citing court documents, it said the woman alleged Walton, with whom she had a previous business relationship, convinced her to go to his room and forced himself on her.
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There, according to the lawsuit, he allegedly pinned her to the bed, kissed and groped her while she resisted, TMZ said.
It added the lawsuit says he eventually stopped and let her go but, as she walked away, grabbed her from behind and pulled her close — before eventually allowing her to leave.
Now, coach of the Sacramento Kings, Walton was let go by the Lakers last week after coaching them for several seasons.
The Lakers issued a statement on Monday night saying they had no previous knowledge of the allegations.
“This alleged incident took place before Luke Walton was the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,” a team spokesman said.
“At no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers. If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA.”