The NBA has come out with a new accusation against the Los Angeles Clippers‘ Donald Sterling, saying the under-fire basketball team owner asked his female friend, V. Stiviano, to lie and help cover up the racial comments he was captured saying about blacks on audio tape.
The NBA’s leading investigator made the accusation within the pages upon pages of statements that have been compiled so far about Mr. Sterling and his racial statements, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Mr. Sterling was heard on tape telling Ms. Stiviano, 31, that she shouldn’t post pictures of herself with blacks on her Instagram account, or bring them to basketball games. For that, he was banned for life from the NBA, fined $2.5 million — which he’s gearing to fight in court — and faces pressure from the commissioner and his fellow team owners to sell the Clippers.
The new accusation — that Mr. Sterling, 80, told his female companion to help him cover up the contents of the audio by lying and saying the tape wasn’t real — was part of the NBA’s efforts to drum up the necessary documents and evidence to oust him from team ownership.
The NBA also wants to prevent Mr. Sterling’s reportedly estranged wife, Shelly, from taking over control of the team.
In the documents, the NBA investigator finds that Mr. Sterling and his wife of 58 years “are not in any sense estranged,” and therefore, the ownership of the team should not automatically default to her, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Rather, Mrs. Sterling must be ousted, too, to avoid perceptions that her husband is still running operations — a scenario that would “undoubtedly and dramatically reduce the value of the team,” the documents conclude, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The documents also reveal that Andy Roeser, president of the Clippers, actually talked about the audio with Mr. Sterling and ordered an employee of the organization to destroy the copy — two weeks before it went public, the Los Angeles Times reported. Mr. Roeser has been placed on indefinite leave by NBA authorities.
The news site TMZ released the audio to the public on April 25.