Many high profile divorce conversations around the water cooler wind up with chit chat turning to who is taking who to the cleaners in the end. With the recent scandal that is being touted by many as one of the most controversial and heated scandals in the history of the NBA, Donald Sterling is now involved in a very high profile drama that might have Mrs. Sterling laughing all the way to the bank. Mr. Sterling's arrival at the dry cleaners has yet to occur, but with CBC reporting May 23 that Mrs. Sterling is about to gain control of the Clippers, he may want to start sorting out his laundry.
CBC reports that today Donald Sterling watched several of his personal and professional relationships decimate simultaneously when he surrendered control of his stake in the Clippers to his now estranged wife Rochelle Sterling. CBC also reports that Mrs. Sterling is in talks with the NBA to sell the team "on her terms".
The Toronto Sun reports that this is information obtained from a source to The Associated Press who had "knowledge of the negotiations" but "wasn't authorized to speak publicly" about the agreement that the Sterlings have come to so far as the Clippers are concerned.
The AP's inside source claimed that Rochelle Sterling was attempting to "resolve the dispute amicably" and has been communicating between her attorneys and the NBA legal team over the last several weeks. The source indicated that Mrs. Sterling has no intention to file suit against the NBA at this time.
This is the latest "off the books" development in the NBA scandal that has become one of the most heated and controversial scandals the NBA has ever seen. It is a scandal that includes alleged sex, lies, and audiotapes and resulted in NBA League Commissioner Adam Silver banning Donald Sterling from the NBA for life for racist statements. Donald Sterling was also fined $2.5 million by the NBA for his racist statements.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass has provided a statement to the Toronto Sun, "We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers, and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3."
The NBA is charging Sterling with engaging in "other conduct that has impaired its relationship with fans and merchandising partners" according to the National Post. If he does not respond to the charges set forth by the NBA within 5 business days, or does not show up to the hearing, the NBA Constitution states this will imply a "total validity of the charges as presented."
A three-quarter vote quorum, or a total of 23 votes at the June 3 hearing will be required for Silver to oust Sterling from the Los Angeles Clippers. Sterling made a request to the NBA to delay the hearing for 3 months, which was denied. He has until May 27 to formally respond to the charges, or show up at the hearing on June 3.
Chairman of the Board is Glen Taylor who is also owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves will preside over the hearing. The Globe and Mail reports that Silver prefers that Donald handle the sale on his own, but if not, "the process to force a sale is already well underway". Silver is reportedly confident that he will not have any problem securing 23 votes.
This will be just the first of many financial matters that will plague Donald Sterling over the coming weeks. The first of many that will likely benefit Mrs. Rochelle Sterling. After a 50 year marriage, Rochelle is the now estranged wife to Donald Sterling since this scandal has broken. The speculations are that she is making lemonade out of the lemons this scandal has offered her in her personal life. Not only is she reportedly intending to profit handsomely from the sale of the Clippers alone, but she is also suing the mistress at the center of this scandal that has decimated Donald Sterling.
The L.A. Times recently reported that a lawsuit was filed on March 7 with the Los Angeles County Superior Courts by Rochelle Sterling against the mistress in question V. Stiviano. At the time, Mrs. Sterling referred to Stiviano as a "gold digger" and someone that "seduces older, wealthy men and persuades them to shower her with gifts".
The lawsuit alleged that V. Stiviano and Donald Sterling engaged in a sexual relationship that began at the 2010 SuperBowl and continued to the date of the filing of the order, March 7 of this year. She alleged in this lawsuit that during the course of their relationship, Mr. Sterling purchased a number of gifts for V. Stiviano that were purchased with community property, or marital money.
Mrs. Sterling is alleging that they are half hers. The gifts that Donald Sterling gave to V. Stiviano included a 2013 Range Rover, two Bentleys, a 2012 Ferrari, and a $1.8 million dollar duplex in Beverly Hills. In that lawsuit, Rochelle Sterling is also alleging that Donald Sterling paid approximately $240,000 in living expenses to V. Stiviano out of community property funds.
Rochelle Sterling is also arguing that the gifts and purchases were made without her knowledge or consent, and she is seeking not only compensatory damages, but wants them all returned. In a recent exclusive interview with Dr. Phil, V. Stiviano commented on those gifts, and did not deny receiving them.
She made many statements asserting that she was unable to comment on legal or financial matters at the time of the interview, but also lamented over the lawsuit, "I don't know why she would ask for those gifts back." She also told Dr. Phil in the interview shown here that she never had sex with Donald Sterling.
The hearing for the suit against the mistress has not occurred at the time of press. Mrs. Sterling has not commented as to whether or not she will be at the June 3 hearing regarding the ownership of the Clippers. And so the trip to the cleaners for Donald Sterling begins.
The Toronto Sun reports that Donald Sterling purchased the Los Angeles Clippers in 1981 for $13 million, and that the team is worth approximately $575 million today.
What has been your reaction to the Donald Sterling scandal?