Donald Sterling said in a Wednesday broadcast that his wife Shelly deserves to keep her share of the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the second part of a CNN interview recorded on Sunday, the banned Clippers owner told host Anderson Cooper that he thinks Shelly has already filed divorce papers. Sterling had referred to her as his ex-wife during the segment of the interview that aired Monday.
“One wife, 58 years,” he told Cooper. “And she loved the team and always helped me with everything. If for some reason I can’t have the team, I think that she should have her interest. She didn’t do anything. I brought all of this on her.”
Shelly Sterling has vowed to fight for her stake in the franchise, which is held in a shared family trust. A divorce could complicate the battle due to California’s community property law.
The NBA released a statement on Sunday saying that if a controlling owner’s share is terminated, all other shares of the franchise are as well. Donald Sterling — banned for life and fined after TMZ published his racist comments — is the only controlling owner of the Clippers approved by the NBA, and can be removed with a three-fourths majority vote by the NBA Board of Governor.
Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, called the NBA’s interpretation of its own constitution “self-serving.”
Earlier on Sunday, Shelly Sterling told ABC’s Barbara Walters that she planned to divorce Donald “eventually,” having signed but not yet filed divorce papers due to the advice of her attorney and financial advisor.
“I’ve destroyed her life,” Donald Sterling told Cooper. “I like her attorneys. They are all very good. They all want to be separate. They want her to divorce me forever and sever the relationship.”