Donald Sterling, a billionaire who used to own a basketball team and found it unseemly for his mistress to be seen in public with black people, is suing his former mistress and gossip site TMZ for allegedly altering the leaked tapes that led to his public downfall.
Sterling claims that V. Stiviano, the mask-wearing sidepiece who recorded her private meetings with Sterling, “illicitly” taped his infamous racist rant without his knowledge, and that either Stiviano or TMZ edited the tapes to “reflect conversations … that either never occurred, were grossly distorted and/or stated out of context.”
Recall that NBA investigators discovered last year that Sterling offered Stiviano money to claim the tapes were faked, and that he publicly said “I wish I just paid her off” after the scandal broke. Recall also that, in between the release of the tapes and his lifetime ban from the NBA, Sterling tried the “doctored tapes” defense, then admitted weeks later that the recordings were real.
Stiviano has maintained that she didn’t leak the tapes herself, and that Sterling knew she’d recorded their conversations.
Meanwhile, Sterling’s lawsuit against his wife Shelly—from whom he divorced last week—is ongoing. He claims that Shelly never paid him his share of the $2 billion proceeds from the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, which she executed by having him declared “mentally incapacitated” by two doctors and taking over sole ownership of the team.
[Photo: AP Images]