Racist Donald Sterling may have blown off Barbara Walters, but the women in his life are happy to talk to her. Last week, the banned Clippers owner’s possible girlfriend/archivist, V. Stiviano, shared (at least part of) her story on ABC. Now Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, has done an interview with Walters that is scheduled to air on Sunday evening. Like her husband, she seems quite determined to hang onto her stake in the family’s basketball team.
As you might recall, the NBA is trying to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, though he has indicated that he is unwilling to do so. Shelly told Walters that while she “[has] to accept” the league’s plan for Donald, she “will fight” any effort to make her sell the half of the Clippers that she owns. “To be honest with you, I’m wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there’s 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband?” she asked. “Or would they leave the husband in?” It’s difficult to answer that question, since Shelly’s own alleged use of racially charged language only became public after Donald got into trouble for his.
Shelly again claimed to be “shocked by what [Donald] said,” even though it seems likely that she heard him use slurs at some point during the over 50 years they have been married. She also said that she intends to “eventually” divorce him. “For the last 20 years, I’ve been seeing attorneys for a divorce,” Shelly explained. “In fact, I have here — I just filed — I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial adviser and my attorney said to me, ‘Not now.’” After all, they still have that lawsuit to get through.
UPDATE: On Sunday night the NBA said if one owner goes, they all go. “Under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner’s interest is terminated by a three-fourths vote, all other team owners’ interests are automatically terminated as well,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “It doesn’t matter whether the owners are related as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team.”
Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, responded: “We do not agree with the league’s self-serving interpretation of its constitution, its application to Shelly Sterling or its validity under these unique circumstances … We live in a nation of laws. California law and the United States Constitution trump any such interpretation.”