Donald Sterling purportedly says jealousy behind racist comments
In a yet another audio recording, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling purportedly explains why he infamously told a woman not to bring black people to his games: He was jealous that she was with black men.
The recording released Friday — the second in two days unveiled by RadarOnline.com — allegedly reveals Sterling trying to add context to racist comments that got him banned from the NBA last month. That context, he purportedly says, was that he was trying to sleep with the woman he was talking to.
“The girl is black. I like her. I’m jealous that she’s with other black guys. I want her. So what the hell, can I in private tell her, you know, ‘I don’t want you to be with anybody?'” the man purported to be Sterling says in the new tape, according to RadarOnline.
“I’m trying to have sex with her. I’m trying to play with her,” the man also says. “You know, if you (are trying) to have sex with a girl and you’re talking with her privately, you don’t think anybody’s there. You may say anything in the world. What difference does it make?
“Then if the girl tapes it and releases it, my God, it’s awful.”
The new recording is of a phone conversation between Sterling and an unidentified person, made after the controversy over racist comments erupted last month, RadarOnline said.
CNN’s attempts to verify with Sterling’s representatives that he is on the tape were not immediately successful.
Sterling, an 80-year-old married lawyer and billionaire real-estate investor, has not released a public statement since celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a 10-minute audio recording in which he chastised a woman named V. Stiviano for posting pictures of her posing with African-Americans, including basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Sterling made the comments during an argument with Stiviano, 31, on April 9, according to TMZ.
“In your lousy f***ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people,” he says.
“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” responds Stiviano, who is part African-American, according to the recording. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”
Although the latest recording claims that Sterling was jealous, the tapes released last month by TMZ purportedly reveal Sterling being OK with Stiviano sleeping with black men.
Referring to Johnson, Sterling purportedly said: “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Sterling also said, according to TMZ: “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.”
One apparent source of friction, according to the pair on the TMZ tapes, was the man’s view that she “was perceived as either a Latina or a white girl,” and that people were calling him with negative reactions to her pictures with black people.
“People call you and tell you that I have black people on my Instagram, and it bothers you,” the woman said.
“Yeah, it bothers me a lot if you want to … broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” the man TMZ identified as Sterling responded.
The TMZ release triggered a firestorm that led to Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has asked the other 29 owners to force Sterling, the longest-tenured owner in the league, to sell the Clippers.
More from Friday’s tape: ‘I know I’m wrong’
In the new tape, the man RadarOnline identifies as Sterling says he was wrong.
“I know I’m wrong, what I said was wrong. But I never thought a private conversation would go anywhere out to the public,” the man says.
“I didn’t want her to bring anybody to my game because I was jealous. I mean, I’m being honest,” he continues.
In a recording that RadarOnline released Thursday — again featuring someone it says is Sterling talking to an unidentified man — Sterling allegedly denies he’s a racist.
“You think I’m a racist?” a man purported to be Sterling says. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that. You know I’m not a racist.”
A second man in that tape says, “they’re trying to force you to sell.”
“You can’t force someone to sell property in America,” Sterling purportedly says. “Well, I’m a lawyer; that’s my opinion.”
The matter of the team’s sale is with the NBA’s Advisory/Finance Committee, which met Wednesday in a conference call. Members discussed the “termination of Mr. Sterling’s ownership of the team,” the NBA said in a news release. The committee will meet again next week, the statement said.
If the case proceeds to a full vote, 75% of the owners would have to approve the forced sale.
Wife wants to retain her ownership share
However, an attorney for Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, said Friday on CNN’s “Situation Room” that she wants to keep her 50% stake in the team and they have been talking by phone with NBA officials.
“She wants to remain a passive owner,” said attorney Pierce O’Donnell. “She’s not going to want to manage the team. She’s going to want a very skilled, professional, well-heeled new owner to come in and replace Donald,” O’Donnell said. “She only wants to own the team in her lifetime. She’s 79-years-old. At this point, she’s earned it. She’s been an owner for 33 years, and she’s an avid fan.”
Technically, the team is now owned by the Sterling family’s trust, with Donald and Shelly Sterling serving as co-trustees. Their two children are named as beneficiaries.
During a news conference announcing Sterling’s lifetime ban, the NBA’s Silver was asked whether there would be sanctions against Shelly Sterling.
“No, there have been no decisions about other members of the Sterling family, and I should say that this ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling’s conduct only,” Silver said.
Shelly Sterling hasn’t done anything wrong and will fight any effort to try to force her to sell her stake in the team, O’Donnell said.
She has not violated the “the bylaws and constitution of the NBA,” he said. “…The last thing I saw that being a wife of a reviled co-owner is not one of them.”
He described the calls by fans and players to force his client to sell her share as “mob psychology.”
“I think it’s preposterous to think that players under contract who make tens of millions of dollars a year are going to boycott because a 79-year-old woman, a passive owner of the team who doesn’t manager, is sitting in the stands,” O’Donnell said. “It’s ridiculous.”
O’Donnell said Shelly Sterling has denounced her husband’s comments.
The Sterlings have not lived together for more than a year. Shelly Sterling is “weighing her options” as to whether she wants a divorce, O’Donnell said.
He also said she categorically denied making any racist statements, as alleged in court documents filed when the couple was sued for discrimination at their apartment buildings.
O’Donnell said those allegations were retracted, and the court ultimately decided in favor of the Sterlings.
Although her husband is banned from NBA arenas, Shelly Sterling has attended some of the Clippers playoff games since the scandal unfolded.