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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has finally spoken out for the first time since NBA commissioner Alan Silver banned him from league activities for life on Tuesday after a tape of him making racist remarks surfaced. In addition, V. Stiviano, the woman he is heard talking to on the tape, did an interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters, in which she said that she doesn’t think Sterling is a racist.
A single quote from Sterling was posted on DuJour. “I wish I had just paid her off,” he is quoted as saying, referencing Stiviano. According to the The Los Angeles Times, Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, did file a lawsuit against Stivinano, requesting the return of a $1.8 million residence. Shelly Sterling referred to Stiviano as a gold digger.
Stiviano has been reported to be Sterling’s girlfriend and can be heard on the tape that was leaked to TMZ and Deadspin last weekend. In the tapes, Sterling tells Stiviano not to bring black men to Clippers games.
In her first interview since the tape came out, Stiviano told Walters that Sterling should “absolutely” apologize for the comments.
“I think he’s highly more traumatized and hurt by the things that he said himself,” she told Walters on 20/20. “I think he can’t even believe or understand sometimes the thing he says, and I think he’s hurt by it. He’s hurting right now."
However, Stiviano does not think that Sterling is a racist.
“I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than I am. I think he was brought up to believe these things … segregation, whites and blacks,” Stiviano explained. “But through his actions he’s shown that he’s not a racist. He’s shown to be a very generous and kind man.”
The Clippers play Game 7 in their playoff series against the Golden State Warriors Saturday night.