Trouble for Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Continues On and Off the Court

Official response: Clippers President Andy Roeser said he recording does not reflect Sterling's beliefs

  • One Ferrari, two Bentleys and a $1.4 million apartment are just some of the lavish gifts NBA owner Donald Sterling has given to his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, who in return thanked Sterling by recording racist comments in a heated conversation between the couple.

The trouble doesn’t end there with Sterling, who has been in the spotlight for other racist comments and money-realted controversies on and off the court, including…

 

  • Rochelle Sterling, LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s wife of 50 years, filed a lawsuit last month against his lover
  • Mr Sterling was recorded berating his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, for posting a photo with Magic Johnson
  • Sterling tells Stiviano, who is Mexican and African-American, not to bring black people to games
  • He said that she can sleep with black people but he doesn’t want her to post pictures of herself with them on Instagram
  • Sterling, 81, has twice been sued for refusing to rent apartments minorities
  • Heat forward LeBron James called on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to take swift action
  • Clippers players considered boycotting Game 4 of playoffs but decided against it
  • Team president  Andy Roeser stated the tape might have been Stiviano’s way to get even with the Sterling family for sueing her for embezzlement

The estranged wife of embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling described her husband’s much younger girlfriend in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit as a gold-digger who seduces and cajoles wealthy older men into showering her with presents.

Sterling’s girlfriend Vanessa Stiviano, 38, sparked a firestorm on Saturday by allegedly leaking an audio recording of the 81-year-old Clippers owner launching a racist rant in which he berated her for being seen in public with black friends, including Magic Johnson.

The shocking clip set off a massive scandal in the media, with current and former NBA players like LeBron James and Charles Barkley calling on the league to take immediate action against Sterling. The NBA is investigating the claims and is set to make a decision within days.

In the meantime, a lawsuit filed by Sterling’s estranged wife of 50 years Rochelle claims to show how the Clipper’s owner treated his girlfriend before the apparent row – by lavishing her with a series of gifts including a Ferrari, two Bentleys, a Range Rover and a $1.4million apartment.

Estranged: Donald Sterling is still married to wife Shelly but the pair have been separated for years

Woman scorned: Donald Sterling’s wife of 50 years, Rochelle (pictured), filed a lawsuit in March against his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, accusing her of using her feminine wiles to get her hands on their family money

Damning recording: Donald Sterling (center) can be heard telling his girlfriend V. Stiviano (to his right) not to bring black people to Clippers games

Damning recording: Donald Sterling can be heard telling his girlfriend V. Stiviano (to his right) not to bring black people to Clippers games

Man-eater: Vanessa Stiviano has been described by her rival as a calculating gold-digger.

Life in the fast lane: According to Rochelle Sterling’s lawsuit, besides the flashy 2012 Ferrari, her husband gifted Stiviano two Bentleys and a Range Rover

Heartbreaker: The vanity plate on Stiviano's red Ferrari reads: 'V Loves You'

Heartbreaker: The vanity plate on Stiviano’s red Ferrari reads: ‘V Loves You’.

In court documents filed March 7 by Sterling’s spouse of 50 years and the mother of his three children, Rochelle Sterling writes that her husband and Stiviano – who also goes by the aliases Vanessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos, Maria Monica Perez Gallegos and Maria Valdez – first met in 2010 at the Super Bowl.

According to Mrs Sterling’s lawsuit, cited by the Los Angles Times, over the past four years, her husband used their commonly owned resources to buy his girlfriend a 2012 Ferrari, a pair of Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover worth a total of more than $500,000.

In additional to the high-end vehicles, some of which are prominently featured on Stiviano’s instagram account documenting her high-flying lifestyle, Mr Sterling also gifted her $1.8million to buy a duplex on West 4th Street in Los Angeles and $240,000 for living expenses.

Mrs Sterling’s lawsuit, which claims that her husband gave Stiviano money and presents without her consent, seeks full restitution along with unspecified compensatory damages.

Irresistible: Rochelle Sterling’s complaint accused Stiviano of seducing and cajoling older wealthy men into showering her with gifts.

High maintenance: The 38-year-old beauty allegedly received $240,000 from her elderly boyfriend to cover her living expenses.

Counterattack: Stiviano's lawyer hit back at Rochelle Sterling, mocking the claim that his client could have used her wiles to bilk the famously shrewd businessman out of millions of dollars

Counterattack: Stiviano’s lawyer hit back at Rochelle Sterling, mocking the claim that his client could have used her wiles to bilk the famously shrewd businessman out of millions of dollars

What’s in a name: The woman known to the realm of social media as V. Stiviano has no fewer than five aliases, including Vanessa Maria Perez and Monica Gallegos

According to Rochelle Sterling, before she filed her complaint in court, Donald Sterling himself had asked Stiviano to return the money and property, but the woman allegedly refused.

Stiviano’s attorney, Mac Nehoray, presented a counter-argument, claiming that a gift cannot be revoked by the giver – legalese for ‘no taksies backsies.’

In a court filing, the lawyer also insisted that there is not ‘a peppercorn of a fact’ that his client committed any fraud or exercised undue influence.

Nehoray added that nowhere in Mrs Sterling’s lawsuit does it say that ‘the feminine wiles of Ms. Stiviano overpowered the iron will of’ Donald Sterling, ‘who is well known as one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world.’

 

All throughout the day Saturday, anger has been was building against the elderly billionaire over his remarks pertaining to minorities.

 

On the audio recording made public Saturday, a man believed to be Donald Sterling is heard telling off his girlfriend, who goes by V. Stiviano, that he doesn’t want her bringing any black people to his team’s basketball games.

‘You can sleep with (black people). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that… and not to bring them to my games,’ Sterling is heard saying on a tape obtained by TMZ.

Damning recording: Donald Sterling (center) can be heard telling his girlfriend V. Stiviano (to his left) not to bring black people to Clippers games

Damning recording: Donald Sterling (center) can be heard telling his girlfriend V. Stiviano (to his left) not to bring black people to Clippers games.

The NBA has now launched an official investigation into the recording, and the league’s spokesman Mike Bass called the comments ‘disturbing and offensive’.

This is not the first time that Sterling has been accused of being racist.

He was sued twice by the federal government after refusing to rent apartments to minorities.

In the 2005 case, he was ordered to pay a $2.73million fine to settle.

In a 2009 case, he was accused of refusing to rent to non-Koreans when it came to a property in Koreatown and refused African American tenants for a property in Beverly Hills.

He was reportedly accused of saying that he wouldn’t rent to Hispanics because they ‘smoke, drink and just hang around the building’.

The suit also accused Sterling of saying, ‘Black tenants smell and attract vermin’.

He was also named in a 2003 lawsuit wherein he crudely described how he had sex with a prostitute who charged $500-per-tryst.

In that case, he admitted that ‘maybe I morally did something wrong’ but went on to explain that ‘it was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex,’ according to records obtained by The Smoking Gun.

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Source: Daily Mail

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