In an exclusive interview with DuJour magazine, disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling implied that his ex-mistress had been blackmailing him. “I wish I had just paid her off,” he said.
Vanessa Stiviano, aka V. Stiviano, leaked audio of Sterling telling her not to bring black men to his games. The audio, which was published by gossip tabloid TMZ.com, sparked a firestorm of controversy resulting in Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine. Sterling also indicated he would not be giving any more interviews — except to Barbara Walters and the NBA.
DuJour magazine limits its subscriptions to the wealthy 1% who must provide proof of their income. The magazine is not available on newsstands.
Meanwhile, Stiviano spoke exclusively to Barbara Walters in an interview that aired last night on ABC. Stiviano, 31, said Sterling, whom she described as “tormented,” was not a racist.
“No, I don’t believe that in my heart,” she said. ” I think the things he says are not what he feels.”
“Anyone can say anything in the heat of the moment,” she said, referring to his reaction to a photo of herself and Magic Johnson that she posted on Instagram.com.
“I think he comes from a different generation … he was brought up to believe these things … segregation, whites and blacks. But through his actions, he’s shown that he’s not a racist. He’s shown to be a very generous and kind man.” She told Walters that Sterling discussed race many times in the past.
“There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one,” she said. “Part of what the world heard was only 15 minutes. There’s a number of other hours that the world doesn’t know.”
“God only knows,” she said when asked if he will apologize.
Stiviano described her relationship with Sterling as a “father figure.”
“I love him just like a father figure,” she said, adding that she plays a crucial role in his life.
“I’m Mr. Sterling’s right-hand man, arm/man,” she said. “I’m Mr. Sterling’s everything. I’m his confidant, his best friend, his silly rabbit.”
She confirmed they are not romantically involved, and that he was her sugar daddy with whom she had a financial arrangement. “He at first started paying me as an employee, and then he started paying me off the books,” she said. Sterling purchased a $1,000,000 duplex for Stiviano, as well as a Ferrari sports car and a $250,000 annual allowance.
Stiviano’s attorney claims she did not sell the audio to TMZ.