Skip to main content

Donald Sterling purportedly says jealousy behind racist comments

By Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 7:37 PM EDT, Sun May 11, 2014
  • NEW: Donald Sterling's wife vows to fight any effort to force her to sell, attorney says
  • RadarOnline releases another purported audio recording of Sterling
  • The Clippers owner allegedly says he was jealous that V. Stiviano was with black men
  • "I'm trying to have sex with her. I'm trying to play with her," man purported to be Sterling says

Watch Anderson Cooper's interview with Donald Sterling at 8 p.m. ET Monday on "AC360" on CNN.

(CNN) -- In a yet another audio recording, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling purportedly explains why he infamously told a woman not to bring black people to his games: He was jealous that she was with black men.

The recording released Friday -- the second in two days unveiled by -- allegedly reveals Sterling trying to add context to racist comments that got him banned from the NBA last month. That context, he purportedly says, was that he was trying to sleep with the woman he was talking to.

"The girl is black. I like her. I'm jealous that she's with other black guys. I want her. So what the hell, can I in private tell her, you know, 'I don't want you to be with anybody'?" the man purported to be Sterling says in the new tape, according to RadarOnline.

"I'm trying to have sex with her. I'm trying to play with her," the man also says. "You know, if you (are trying) to have sex with a girl and you're talking with her privately, you don't think anybody's there. You may say anything in the world. What difference does it make?

Sterling's 'plantation-type' mentality
Contract loophole to force Sterling out?
America split on forcing Clippers' sale

"Then if the girl tapes it and releases it, my God, it's awful."

The new recording is of a phone conversation between Sterling and an unidentified person, made after the controversy over racist comments erupted last month, RadarOnline said.

CNN's attempts to verify with Sterling's representatives that he is on the tape were not immediately successful.

Sterling, an 80-year-old married lawyer and billionaire real-estate investor, has not released a public statement since celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a 10-minute audio recording in which he chastised a woman named V. Stiviano for posting pictures of her posing with African-Americans, including basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Sterling made the comments during an argument with Stiviano, 31, on April 9, according to TMZ.

"In your lousy f***ing Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with -- walking with black people," he says.

"If it's white people, it's OK?" responds Stiviano, who is part African-American, according to the recording. "If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?"

Although the latest recording claims that Sterling was jealous, the tapes released last month by TMZ purportedly reveal Sterling being OK with Stiviano sleeping with black men.

Referring to Johnson, Sterling purportedly said: "Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (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."

Sterling also said, according to TMZ: "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."

One apparent source of friction, according to the pair on the TMZ tapes, was the man's view that she "was perceived as either a Latina or a white girl," and that people were calling him with negative reactions to her pictures with black people.

"People call you and tell you that I have black people on my Instagram, and it bothers you," the woman said.

"Yeah, it bothers me a lot if you want to ... broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" the man TMZ identified as Sterling responded.

The TMZ release triggered a firestorm that led to Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has asked the other 29 owners to force Sterling, the longest-tenured owner in the league, to sell the Clippers.

More from Friday's tape: 'I know I'm wrong'

In the new tape, the man RadarOnline identifies as Sterling says he was wrong.

"I know I'm wrong, what I said was wrong. But I never thought a private conversation would go anywhere out to the public," the man says.

"I didn't want her to bring anybody to my game because I was jealous. I mean, I'm being honest," he continues.

In a recording that RadarOnline released Thursday -- again featuring someone it says is Sterling talking to an unidentified man -- Sterling allegedly denies he's a racist.

"You think I'm a racist?" a man purported to be Sterling says. "You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don't think that. You know I'm not a racist."

A second man in that tape says, "they're trying to force you to sell."

"You can't force someone to sell property in America," Sterling purportedly says. "Well, I'm a lawyer; that's my opinion."

The matter of the team's sale is with the NBA's Advisory/Finance Committee, which met Wednesday in a conference call. Members discussed the "termination of Mr. Sterling's ownership of the team," the NBA said in a news release. The committee will meet again next week, the statement said.

If the case proceeds to a full vote, 75% of the owners would have to approve the forced sale.

Wife wants to retain her ownership share

However, an attorney for Donald Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly, said Friday on CNN's "Situation Room" that she wants to keep her 50% stake in the team and they have been talking by phone with NBA officials.

"She wants to remain a passive owner," said attorney Pierce O'Donnell. "She's not going to want to manage the team. She's going to want a very skilled, professional, well-heeled new owner to come in and replace Donald," O'Donnell said. "She only wants to own the team in her lifetime. She's 79-years-old. At this point, she's earned it. She's been an owner for 33 years, and she's an avid fan."

Technically, the team is now owned by the Sterling family's trust, with Donald and Shelly Sterling serving as co-trustees. Their two children are named as beneficiaries.

During a news conference announcing Sterling's lifetime ban, the NBA's Silver was asked whether there would be sanctions against Shelly Sterling.

"No, there have been no decisions about other members of the Sterling family, and I should say that this ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling's conduct only," Silver said.

Shelly Sterling hasn't done anything wrong and will fight any effort to try to force her to sell her stake in the team, O'Donnell said.

She has not violated the "the bylaws and constitution of the NBA," he said. "...The last thing I saw that being a wife of a reviled co-owner is not one of them."

He described the calls by fans and players to force his client to sell her share as "mob psychology."

"I think it's preposterous to think that players under contract who make tens of millions of dollars a year are going to boycott because a 79-year-old woman, a passive owner of the team who doesn't manager, is sitting in the stands," O'Donnell said. "It's ridiculous."

O'Donnell said Shelly Sterling has denounced her husband's comments.

The Sterlings have not lived together for more than a year. Shelly Sterling is "weighing her options" as to whether she wants a divorce, O'Donnell said.

He also said she categorically denied making any racist statements, as alleged in court documents filed when the couple was sued for discrimination at their apartment buildings.

O'Donnell said those allegations were retracted, and the court ultimately decided in favor of the Sterlings.

Although her husband is banned from NBA arenas, Shelly Sterling has attended some of the Clippers playoff games since the scandal unfolded.

Opinion: Sterling vs. the NBA: Who has the edge?

CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Steve Almasy, Stephanie Elam, Chelsea J. Carter, Ray Sanchez and Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Racism in sports
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
The man who hastened Sterling's departure isn't ready to call it a done deal.
updated 8:06 PM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
A woman sued Donald Sterling, alleging that he sexually harassed her and made her uncomfortable with racist remarks -- and that he once fired her after she objected.
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he's sorry but feels he was "baited" to make racist comments.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
The NBA's commissioner orders Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of his team's business over racist remarks.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during an AC Milan soccer match in Italy, but Dani Alves turned to humor in dealing with racist abuse during a Spanish league game.
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Dani Alves' response to a fan throwing a banana at him during Barcelona's trip to Villarreal on Sunday drew huge praise from the football world.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
The players in the National Basketball Association spoke out Sunday about racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
updated 6:36 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a billionaire real estate mogul who's owned the team for more than three decades.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
updated 9:49 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
"Move on, Jews! Your home is at Auschwitz! Send you to the gas (chamber)!"
updated 7:24 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
French soccer star Nicolas Anelka has decided to quit English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion following his punishment for making a controversial "quenelle" gesture.
updated 4:11 PM EDT, Sat October 12, 2013
Team owners strongly dispute any racism behind the mascot and won't change it, saying the Redskins name honors "where we came from, who we are."
updated 4:14 PM EDT, Thu September 12, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur fans have seen the term
English football fans have been warned they face criminal prosecution if they continue to chant a word which has been deemed anti-Semitic.
updated 2:09 PM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
FIFA approved tougher penalties for racist behavior, including possible relegation, in a move that one anti-racism organization said will bring soccer "in line" with other sports.