NBA, Kings begin joint investigation into Walton sexual assault case
Rocky Widner / National Basketball Association / Getty

The NBA and the Sacramento Kings have begun a joint investigation into sexual assault allegations made in a civil suit against newly hired Kings head coach Luke Walton, the league and the organization announced Thursday, according to ESPN.

"The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation," the team and the league said in a joint statement.

The suit against Walton was filed by ex-Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant, who worked with the 39-year-old when he served as a guest analyst on the Los Angeles Lakers' regional network. She says that Walton assaulted her in a Santa Monica, Calif., hotel room in 2014 when he was an assistant for the Golden State Warriors.

According to Tennant's lawsuit, Walton pinned her to the bed while kissing and groping her against her consent. Tennant said Tuesday during a press conference that she was afraid she was going to be raped and that she didn't make the allegations public sooner because she was scared.

Walton's attorney released a statement denying the allegations, suggesting Tennant's legal team wants to "create a public circus" and calling her claims "outrageous."

The Kings reportedly believe it's too early in the fact-finding process to explore the possibility of firing Walton.

NBA, Kings begin joint investigation into Walton sexual assault case
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