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Shelly Sterling wants to maintain ownership of Clippers

Donald Sterling's wife is standing firm in her desire to maintain ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.
May 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Donald Sterling's wife is standing firm in her desire to maintain ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Shelly Sterling tells Eyewitness News she plans to keep the Clippers, even as the NBA is doing all in its power to oust her disgraced husband from the league.

"I have been co-owner since 1981. During those 33 years, I have been a diehard fan even when the team was in the basement of the league. Now that all of our hard work is paying off, I want to celebrate the success that we are finally achieving," Shelly Sterling said.

She says she has hired an attorney to help her and that she believes she has a legal right to remain owner of the Clippers.

"Commissioner (Adam) Silver made it clear when he announced the sanctions against Donald that the NBA was taking no action against me or my family," she said.

The NBA has not commented on her plan to fight for the team. But ownership by any of the Sterlings could mean a boycott from players, fans and advertisers.

An audio recording captured Donald Sterling urging V. Stiviano, his archivist, not to bring black people to Clippers games or to post photos of herself with black friends on her Instagram account.

For the first time since the infamous recording surfaced, NBA Hall of Famer and long-time Clippers executive Elgin Baylor is speaking about the scandal.

"When I first heard it, it just brought back memories of some of the things that were said by Donald," said Baylor.

Baylor once sued Donald Sterling, alleging racist behavior that went back decades, but the racism claim was dropped before trial and Baylor lost the suit. He says the Clippers owner even used to bring people into the locker room to admire black players' bodies.

"Justice has been served. I look at it that way. Justice has been served. Now they know what Donald is like and things I said before about Donald is absolutely true," said Baylor.

Meantime, more about Stiviano's background is surfacing. On Wednesday, she was cited for blocking the sidewalk with her red Ferrari, one of the luxury cars Sterling bought her. But before the cars, the money, and the billionaire came a string of arrests.

In 2004, she was arrested under the name Monica Gallegos, but charged under the name Maria Valdez for second-degree burglary and petty theft with a prior. She pleaded no contest, but in her penalty hearing, the case was dismissed.

According to court documents, she entered an Old Navy store and was seen taking nine items, including clothing and a purse without paying. The items totaled: $174.50. It was the second time she was arrested for petty theft.

In 2012, she was arrested for DUI, for which she is still on probation. She has also been arrested for possession of controlled substance.

She has used six aliases. In 2000, she was Vanessa Perez, a graduating senior from Roosevelt High School. Ten years later, she legally changed her name to V. Stiviano, telling a judge it was because she had never been fully accepted because of her race.

The 31-year-old is now in the process of adopting two special needs children.

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