SALT LAKE CITY — Head Jazz coach Quin Snyder said it would be "irresponsible to comment" further without more information in the wake of media reports regarding Jazz center Jeff Withey.
Manhattan Beach police spokesman Sgt. Tim Zins confirmed "a police report had been filed accusing Withey of domestic violence and detectives are looking into it," the Associated Press reported Thursday.
According to TMZ, Kennedy Summers, a former Playboy Playmate and Withey's fiancee, filed a police report Tuesday in Manhattan Beach, California, alleging multiple incidents of domestic violence by the Jazz center.
The report indicates Summers alleged multiple incidents of violence against her by Withey in 2016, including one visit from police due to a conflict between Withey and Summers, according to TMZ. No police report was made at the time, nobody involved was arrested, and no charges were filed.
Withey has not yet been charged with a crime in connection with the police report.
Summers and Withey were engaged for a brief period in 2016, until they broke off the arrangement.
"We live in a world where it's hard to escape social media," Kennedy's publicist Zack Teperman explained last summer, according to multiple media reports. "And while Kennedy is a huge social media fan, unfortunately some of the negative effects it brings to people while in relationships ... caused several serious issues that caused her to end this engagement."
Thursday morning, the Utah Jazz released a statement saying that they were aware of the media reports regarding Withey, but were still "collecting information" and would have "no further comment until we have a better understanding of the situation."
Snyder said they are "looking at what the situation is" and that "it would be irresponsible for me to comment beyond that until we have more information."
Summers told TMZ she felt it was necessary to file the report Tuesday because she was concerned about her safety while Withey was in Los Angeles for the Round 1 NBA Playoff games between the Jazz and the Clippers.
"Given the ongoing circumstances, our client now needs to protect herself and come forward about everything so this doesn't happen to her or others in the future," Teperman told TMZ Thursday.
Withey's lawyer, Alan Jackson of Werksman Jackson Hathaway & Quinn LLP, did not mince words in defending his client in a statement released Thursday afternoon: “These salacious and patently false allegations appear to be nothing more than a vicious and calculated attempt by an angry former girlfriend to damage Mr. Withey’s good reputation. It is no coincidence that these fabricated claims conveniently come during the middle of the NBA playoffs, or that TMZ and the police department were notified on the same day. There is no truth to the accusations, and when the facts come to light we are confident that the falsity of the claims, and the true motivations of the person behind them, will be exposed.”
Withey was not made available to reporters at Thursday's Jazz practice.
The following resources are available for those in abusive relationships: Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org.
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