UPDATE 4/26/14, 6:47 P.M. ET:
In a statement released to TMZ Sports, L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, with the full support of the Clippers organization, denies knowledge of the recording of him allegedly going on a racist rant against Black people and says that he is not racist:
From The Clippers Organization
“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape..who we believe released it to TMZ, is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family, alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.
Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life.
He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them.”
According to CBS LA, Sterling’s wife, Rochelle Sterling, filed the suit against Stiviano back in March.
Rochelle Sterling accuses Stiviano as being the type of woman who “engages in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce and then … receives as gifts transfers of wealth from older men whom she targets for such purposes.”
According to the suit, Stiviano has several aliases, including Vanessa Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez.
Stiviano reportedly met Sterling at the Super Bowl game in February 2010 and that same year began a sexual relationship with him, the suit states.
The suit asks for a return of all cash, land, expensive cars and other items that under California law are the community property of the Sterlings.
V. Stiviano, who describes herself as “Black and Mexican” on the recording, posted a picture of herself with Magic Johnson, prompting Sterling to say that she was embarrassing him. He told Stiviano that she was supposed to be viewed as a “delicate” Latina or White woman and that he preferred not to think about her Blackness. He said that he didn’t care what she did with Black people, including Johnson, as long as she doesn’t publicly acknowledge them or bring them to his games.
Read more from TMZ:
– “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)
– “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.” (5:15)
– “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)
– “…Don’t put him [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.” (9:13)
Magic Johnson called Sterling’s remarks a “shame.”
“It’s a shame that Donald Sterling feels that way about African-Americans,” Johnson told TMZ.
“He has a team full of amazing African-American basketball players that are working to bring a championship to Clippers fans. The Clippers also have a strong minority fan base.”
Chris Paul, National Basketball Players Association president and Los Angeles Clippers point guard,issued the following statement:
“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively. We have asked Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and the drive to the Finals.”
NBPA adviser and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson issued the following statement:
“The reported comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are reprehensible and unacceptable. The National Basketball Players Association must and will play a very active role in determining how this issue is addressed. There needs to be an immediate investigation and if the reports are true, there needs to be strong and swift action taken. I have spoken with NBPA President Chris Paul and will be leading the NBPA in addressing the implications of this serious matter. I will be formally reaching out to the NBA today to determine our next steps. While I originally came on to lead the Executive Director search, this issue requires immediate attention from the players association. I will be keeping Chris Paul, the Executive Committee, and all player representatives informed of every step.”
NBA executive vice president of communication Mike Bass said the league is conducting a “full investigation.”
“The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information,” said Bass.
Sterling has a documented history of allegedly racist behavior — he’s been sued twice by the federal government for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Blacks and Latinos.
The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday sued [Sterling] for housing discrimination, claiming he refused to rent apartments to blacks and families with children.
Federal prosecutors contend that Sterling, his wife, Rochelle, and their family trust refused to rent to many prospective tenants, treated them poorly and misrepresented the availability of apartments to them in the city’s Koreatown section.
The defendants also are accused of refusing to rent to black prospective tenants in Beverly Hills as well as families with children looking to rent apartments that the defendants owned or managed in Los Angeles County.
“Here in Los Angeles, where housing is already at a premium, it is imperative that no one be denied housing simply because of their skin color, ethnic background or because they have children,” said U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang.
A message left with attorney Michael Kennick, who has represented Sterling in previous lawsuits, was not immediately returned Monday.
Claiming violations of the federal Fair Housing Act, the lawsuit seeks an end to “discriminating on account of race, national origin and familial status,” plus unspecified monetary damages and penalties. The lawsuit also names as defendants the Sterling Family Trust and the Korean Land Company, which owns multifamily rental properties throughout the county.
In November, a federal judge ordered Sterling to pay nearly $5 million in fees to plaintiffs’ attorneys in a lawsuit accusing him of discriminating against black and Hispanic tenants.
He was also sued by former Clippers exec Elgin Baylor for racial discrimination, TMZ reports.
Donald Sterling’s Racist Rant