An audio recording said to be of Clippers team owner Donald Sterling making racist statements is authentic, and his girlfriend V. Stiviano did not release it to any news outlets, her attorney said in an e-mail Sunday to the Los Angeles Times.
The 15-minute recording is part of a one-hour conversation between Sterling and his client, V. Stiviano, attorney Mac Nehoray said in the e-mail. Nehoray, of the Calabasas-based Nehoray Legal Group, is representing Stiviano in a civil lawsuit brought against her by Sterling’s wife, Rochelle.
"Due to the present litigation and its absurd allegations, which Ms. Stiviano vehemently denies, Ms. Stiviano and this office have no comments at this time," Nehoray said in his statement.
Late Friday, TMZ posted an audio recording it said captures Sterling making racist statements in the course of an argument to a woman identified as V. Stiviano.
The Clippers released a statement Saturday in which President Andy Roeser said the team does not know if the man recorded is Sterling, but that the comments do not reflect Sterling's "views, beliefs or feelings."
Furthermore, Roeser said the woman on the tape is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by the Sterling family that alleges she embezzled more than $1.8 million. Sterling told Roeser that the woman said she would "get even" with Sterling for bringing the lawsuit against her.
The person identified by TMZ as Sterling can be heard in the recording, said to be made this month, telling a female friend, identified as V. Stiviano, that he was upset she posted a picture on her Instagram account of herself next to Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” the man in the recording says, later adding: “I’m just saying, in your … Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.”
“Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me,” he says. “And don’t bring him to my games.”
The NBA released a statement saying it was conducting a “full investigation” into the recording.
“The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in the statement, “but at this time we have no further information.”
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on March 7, Rochelle H. Sterling, Donald Sterling’s wife of more than 50 years, describes a woman identified as V. Stiviano as a gold digger who seduces older, wealthy men and persuades them to shower her with gifts.
Donald Sterling and Stiviano began an affair after meeting at the 2010 Super Bowl game and were still in the relationship when the lawsuit was filed, according to the filing, which describes Rochelle Sterling as "a married woman seeking to protect and recover community property in her individual capacity."
Rochelle Sterling alleges that her husband used community property to buy Stiviano a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover, worth a total of more than $500,0000.
The suit also says Sterling gave Stiviano $1.8 million to buy a duplex on West 4th Street last December and provided her with $240,000 for upkeep and living expenses.
The property was supposed to be held in the Sterlings’ name, Rochelle Sterling contends, but Stiviano holds the title to it and has refused to relinquish it. Arguing that the gifts were made without Rochelle Sterling’s knowledge or consent, the complaint seeks their return along with compensatory damages.
The suit, which includes as defendants unnamed agents and employees of Stiviano, alleges that before the complaint was filed, Donald Sterling asked her to return the property. The complaint also says that Stiviano goes by several other names, including Vanessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez.
In a court filing, Stiviano’s attorney, Nehoray, argues that a gift cannot be revoked by the giver and that there is not “a peppercorn of a fact” that any fraud or undue influence was involved.
Nehoray further says that nowhere in the lawsuit does it say that “the feminine wiles of Ms. Stiviano overpowered the iron will of” Sterling, “who is well known as one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world.”