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Attorney: Shelly Sterling wants to keep Clippers


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will fight to retain her 50 percent ownership stake in the team, her lawyer said Thursday, adding an unwanted twist to the NBA's plan to force new ownership on the franchise.

Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, said his client "will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest."

"As her lawyers we will fight vigorously to defend her property rights," he said.

O'Donnell said Mrs. Sterling has no interest in managing the Clippers and wants a new investor group to come in with a professional management team.

O'Donnell also told The Associated Press that Shelly Sterling has been separated from her husband for the last year and is considering divorce. There is no record of legal separation documents being filed, though O'Donnell said the couple is living apart.

Shelly Sterling Fighting To Keep Clippers

Last week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling from the NBA for life and urged league owners to force him to sell the team. The move came after a recording surfaced in which Sterling made racist comments, telling friend V. Stiviano that he didn't want her to bring black people to Clippers games.

At a news conference announcing the decision, Silver said no decision had been made regarding whether Mrs. Sterling or any other Sterling family member will be allowed to retain an ownership position.

O'Donnell said he spoke with NBA officials Thursday morning but declined to elaborate. He said Mrs. Sterling has been working cooperatively with Silver and his staff and supported his announcement seeking a new chief executive officer for the team and the NBA's decision to place longtime team President Andy Roeser on leave.

O'Donnell said Mrs. Sterling "abhors" her husband's comments and that "the Sterlings may share the same last name, but she does not share his values on race." The Sterlings have been married 57 years, O'Donnell said.

"We abhor guilt by association in America," O'Donnell said. "The sins of the husband cannot be imputed to the wife or children."

Shelly and Donald Sterling faced allegations that they discriminated against tenants based on race in Los Angeles according to a lawsuit filed by U.S. Department of Justice in 2006. The Sterlings, who at the time owned and managed about 119 apartment buildings or 5,000 apartments throughout Los Angeles County, agreed to settle the suit for $2.725 million.

The settlement also included two suits filed by former tenants at one of the properties, including an African-American family and an interracial married couple with biracial children, who alleged the Sterlings demolished their private yards among other actions because of their race, according to the Justice Department.

"The charges against her by former tenants are false, unfounded and were never ever determined to be valid in a court of law," O'Donnell said. He said the case was settled without any admission of liability. "She doesn't have a racist bone in her body," O'Donnell said.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Thursday at the team's training facility that "it would be a very hard situation" if Mrs. Sterling retained her portion of ownership in the team.

"I guarantee you every person wouldn't be on board with that," Rivers said. "Whether I would or not, I'm not going to say."

O'Donnell said Mrs. Sterling hasn't been asked to stay away from games and will not. She is an ardent Clippers fan and plans to attend Friday night's playoff game against Oklahoma City. Rivers said "that's her choice. She can be a ticket buyer or whatever."

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star guard who was asked to serve as a spokesman for NBA players after the Sterling scandal broke, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.


AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles, and AP writers Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles and Juliet Williams in Sacramento contributed to this report.


Tami Abdollah can be reached at HTTP://WWW.TWITTER.COM/LATAMS


Join the discussion

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hankbask May 09 2014 at 9:34 AM

FUGLY to the third power. proof that money doesnt buy class or even good plastic surgery. Yuck on all three of those twats.

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Camp Bulldog May 09 2014 at 9:52 AM

show owns 50% of the team...does not wish to sell.....
Game over!

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2 replies
Camp Bulldog Camp Bulldog May 09 2014 at 9:53 AM


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Camp Bulldog Camp Bulldog May 09 2014 at 9:53 AM


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bibbml May 09 2014 at 9:55 AM

What has this country come to.............can't state your opinions anymore................first mistake putting a black in the white house..........is that a racist statement...........sue me.............WTF

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2 replies
JoJo bibbml May 09 2014 at 10:09 AM

What the hell is your problem? You are one of the reasons this country is in trouble.

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Tutu bibbml May 09 2014 at 10:45 AM

Where is the minus button when we need one??????????

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jandjhoye May 09 2014 at 9:56 AM


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almazstmp May 09 2014 at 9:59 AM

The same people who are beating up on octogenarian for politically incorrect private conversation are notably silent when U.S. government and the mainstream media is promoting fascism in the Ukraine. ...... and it's not just some off-color comments to a girlfriend, it's full blown atrocities in Odessa and other parts of Eastern Ukraine.

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1 reply
d1anaw almazstmp May 09 2014 at 10:08 AM

Yes, the poor octogenarian wasn't too old and feeble to parade a mistress young enough to be his granddaughter all over the place. He deserves what he got.

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joshua25tree May 09 2014 at 9:59 AM

Good! Stand your ground Shelly!! Your husband might be a senile, old coot--but what is being done to him is not right.. Hold on to that team!!

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1 reply
Tutu joshua25tree May 09 2014 at 10:43 AM

And all the rest that she is due. She put up with his crap for years and apparently has kept her side of the marriage contract.

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Jim Demarais May 09 2014 at 10:00 AM

Adam Silver and the other NBA owners are facing a very uphill battle if they think they can force this sale. Shelly Sterling (50% owner of the Clippers), has done nothing wrong, so how can the sins of the husband be put on the wife? Her idea of bringing in an outside management firm with no ties to the Sterlings is the right way to do it..If the players or other black players in the NBA do not like that, then they should have the right to void their contracts or not signs with the Clippers..the same goes for Doc Rivers..Let them put their money where their mouth is on this issue..

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1 reply
d1anaw Jim Demarais May 09 2014 at 10:07 AM

Wives are held accountable for their husband's actions all the time, unfortunately.

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2 replies
Tutu d1anaw May 09 2014 at 10:42 AM


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gmclc d1anaw May 09 2014 at 10:50 AM

dfanaw...DID NOT MEANT TO FAN YOU. Excuse but verify what you are writing....completely off.

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Camp Bulldog May 09 2014 at 10:00 AM

oh don't you worry...they ALL.... Black & Whites..(I'll even throw in a few Chinese, Arabs...ANS Native Americans)....have their racial momwents...the shouting...the slurs
Too many have been lucky not to get caught. Or too many have been excused...

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1 reply
davedoe12 Camp Bulldog May 09 2014 at 10:11 AM

I agree 100%. We ARE ALL prejudice in one way or another. To deny it is to lie to ourselves.

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bambi4318.barbara May 09 2014 at 10:03 AM

Many people have said that Sterling's girlfriend/mistress, V. Somebody, is a gold digger; I think the wife has been gold digging for many years.

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5 replies
joe May 09 2014 at 10:07 AM

When are they going to fine Michael Jordan 2 million I think it his turn. Maybe because he is black that have to fine him 200000. Forgot its a double standard.

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