MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Police are investigating an allegation of domestic violence against Utah Jazz center Jeff Withey.
Manhattan Beach police spokesman Sgt. Tim Zins said Thursday that a police report had been filed accusing Withey of domestic violence and detectives are looking into it.
Withey’s attorney Alan Jackson vehemently denied any abuse.
“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,” Jackson said in a statement. “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.”
Police say the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office will have to determine whether Withey will be charged with a crime.
A district attorney’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
The Jazz said in a statement that the team is aware of the allegations against Withey but would not comment until they had a better understanding of the situation.
“It’s a situation that we’re aware of and they’re researching further to find out what all the facts are,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said after practice Thursday. “Other than that, it’s not appropriate for me to comment on.”
Withey played in 51 games this season as a reserve center behind Rudy Gobert. Withey averaged 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 8.5 minutes.
Withey’s role has grown since the playoffs began after Gobert was lost to a knee injury in Game 1 of Utah’s first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Power forward Derrick Favors has moved to center with Gobert out and Withey will be the lone active true center on the roster when the Jazz host the Clippers for Game 3 on Friday.
“Jeff, he’s focused,” Favors said. “He’s going through some personal business right now. Overall, he’s a good teammate. We’re here to support him. He’s over there right now getting focused, working on his game. I think he’ll be ready and good to go tomorrow.”
AP Sports Writer Kareem Copeland in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.