Amir “Nick” Ekbatani is the ex-fiance of Kelli Tennant. Ekbatani is an athlete, actor, and artist who resides in California. His name sprang to light this week after Tennant filed a lawsuit claiming that Sacramento Kings basketball coach Luke Walton had sexually assaulted her.
Ekbatani played football at UCLA — and even spent a brief stint with the NFL — but his football career ended after college. In 2012, a motorcycle accident left Ekbatani without a leg.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Ex-Fiancee Has Accused Luke Walton of Sexual Assault
Ekbatani started dating Tennant in 2012. The couple had only gone on a couple of dates before Ekbatani was involved in a motorcycle accident that changed his life.
Tennant claims that Walton went to her hotel room to discuss writing a foreword for the book she was working on, according to court documents obtained by TMZ Sports. In the legal documents, Tennant stated Walton forced himself on her, kissing her neck, face, and chest. She also added that she “was afraid she was about to be raped.”
Many people have been searching for information about Tennant, thus learning about her former relationship with Ekbatani. He has not commented on the case, however, and it’s unknown if he and Tennant are still cordial.
These days, Ekbatani appears to be single.
2. He & Tennant Broke off Their Engagement & She Said There Was a lot of Stress Caring for Him
Ekbatani and Tennant became engaged in December 2013, but broke things off before their wedding. Following their split, Ekbatani filed a lawsuit against the state of California and Caltrans.
Tennant appeared in court to give a testimony. In said testimony, she revealed the reason for her split from Ekbatani.
“It just became too much. I’m trying to build my career at the same time I’m trying to keep this guy alive. I just couldn’t handle it myself anymore,” Tennant said. “As much as I loved and cared about him, the transition from girlfriend and fiancee to caretaker was difficult. I had to say no to more job opportunities than I would have liked. I couldn’t travel or do events like I wanted to,” she added.
Interestingly, the attorney that is representing Tennant is the same attorney that represented Ekbatani in that 2017 lawsuit; Garo Mardirossian.
According to the Daily Breeze, Ekbatani won the lawsuit and Caltrans was ordered to pay him a whopping $27.5 million.
3. He Played Football as an Undergrad at UCLA & Has an MBA From USC
Ekbatani was born on June 24, 1987, in Torrance, California. He attended South High School in Torrance before enrolling at Los Angeles Harbor College where he played football for one season. The following year, he transferred to UCLA. He joined the school’s football squad in 2006 and played for them for three seasons.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, Ekbatani tried out for the then St. Louis Rams. According to Polar, however, he “didn’t make the cut.”
Ekbatani went on to earn his MBA from the University of Southern California.
“I got my MBA 3 years ago and am finally putting it to full use as an entrepreneur and investor. I am so grateful for that experience and for the continued personal growth I am enjoying because of what I learned and because of the many amazing people who I met while at @uscmarshall. I was able to attend business school because of Swim With Mike, who gave me a full scholarship and financial support during a time when I was completely broken: physically, psychologically, and financially. I endured over 12 surgeries during that time and was at the emotional rock bottom of my life but the community and purpose that my b school experience provided always gave me something to look forward to and something to fall back upon. I don’t know who I would be without Swim With Mike and I am forever grateful for this incredible organization,” he captioned a photo that he posted back in March.
Ekbatani calls himself an athlete, artist, entrepreneur, and investor. He’s also done some acting and some modeling. He stars in a show called Zac & Mia, which is available on Hulu.
He is also still very passionate about fitness. According to Polar, he continues to work as a personal trainer and he instructs various group fitness classes in spin, circuit training, and track.
4. He Lost His Leg After a Motorcycle Accident in 2012 & Relied on His Love of Fitness to Power Through
In 2012, Ekbatani was involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle in Redondo Beach.
“I was riding a motorcycle and a van made a left turn into me and crushed my left leg. It was severed at the seams. I don’t have much recollection of it, but I remember waking up in a hospital bed and being told that my leg had been amputated,” Ekbatani told People Magazine in 2017.
Following the accident, Ekbatani underwent 14 surgeries. He has since been fitted with a prosthetic leg and has used his passion for fitness to help get him through.
“Everything in my life that I’ve been through and what I’ve learned from being an athlete trained me to keep my chin up and keep going and persevere,” he told People Magazine.
In 2017, he became a cycling instructor.
“I was super depressed when I was sitting at home recovering from surgery, so the thought of having a job that was purposeful and inspiring people, and getting to do what I love, which is working out and staying fit, it really fired me up. Since then, it’s become very real. It was an idea and something that I wanted, and it’s really happening now. I don’t feel like I work because I love what I do. It makes me feel connected, and every single class makes me feel like I’m on a team again,” he told the outlet.
5. He Is Half Iranian & Can Speak Farsi
Ekbatani is half Iranian and can speak Farsi. Farsi is defined as “the modern Persian language, a member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family written in Arabic script.”
Ekbatani was given an Arabic first name, Amir, which means “commanding.” He and his sister, Kaylah, were raised just south of Los Angeles by their parents, Andy and Tracy Ekbatani.
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