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Donald Sterling gives bombastic testimony in Clippers trial
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES — Donald Sterling, challenging the sale of his Los Angeles Clippers, gave testy, bombastic testimony Tuesday, contending he’s mentally sound, sparring with his wife’s lawyer and repeatedly drawing laughter from spectators.
“Tell me what you want to accuse me of. … Stand up and be a man,” he told attorney Bert Fields during a 90-minute afternoon appearance.
The 80-year-old billionaire also called doctors who’ve declared he has Alzheimer’s disease “hired guns,” pleaded a faulty memory about some of his most controversial remarks and declared he could top the $2 billion offer for the Clippers by $10 billion by selling TV rights to Fox and winning an antitrust suit he’s filed against the NBA.
“What do you think, I’m doing this for ego?” he asked Fields.
“Yes,” the attorney replied.
“Well, you’re wrong, like you’re wrong with all your questions,” Sterling said.
He also repeatedly told the soft-voiced Fields that he couldn’t hear him, but at one point also said he was a good lawyer.
As Sterling made continued outbursts, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas tried futilely to take control of the situation, at one point telling him: “Go back to answering questions rather than making somewhat entertaining comments.”
“Is this a guy you’d employ to sell hamburgers?” Fields said.
His lawyers are challenging the authority of Shelly Sterling under a family trust to unilaterally cut a deal for the team with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
In order to be able to make the deal herself, Shelly Sterling had two doctors examine her husband and they declared him mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.
Sterling angrily denied that on the witness stand.
“When I went to the Cleveland Clinic, they told me I was razor-sharp. I have five corporations and I run them every day,” he said.
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