Los Angeles, CA- In her first televised interview, Shelly Sterling, estranged wife of Clipper’s owner Donald Sterling said she plans to “eventually” divorce her husband, and attributed her husband’s controversial comments to the “onset of dementia.”
Shelly Sterling sat down with Barbara Walters for an exclusive interview with ABC Sunday night to discuss her husband’s comments and the future of the Los Angeles Clippers.
After tapes of Donald Sterling making racists comment to his mistress surfaced, the NBA announced they would strip Sterling of ownership of the Clippers and possibly sell the team. But Shelly Sterling thinks she should be able retain her share of the team because it is a “legacy to her family,” and questioned the NBA’s legal right to take the team away.
Shelly Sterling was unclear what her husband will do with his share of the team, but said she “would love him to consider” transferring full ownership of the team to her. She pointed out however that she and her embattled husband have not talked about her proposal and expressed irritation with the NBA for trying to take over the team.
Shelly Sterling questioned whether the NBA would take a team away from an owner if their wife had made racists comments. The NBA asserts they have the right to take a team away from all owners if a controlling owners’ interest is terminated with a ¾ vote.
She added that she was “shocked” about the comments her husband made, adding that it isn’t fair to punish her for “what his actions were.” Shelly Sterling also said that she believes the “onset of dementia” most likely caused her husband to make those racists comments.
While the interview with Walters mostly focused on why Shelly Sterling believes she should be able to retain ownership of the Clippers, she did discuss divorcing her husband of 60 years.
Shelly Sterling told Walters that she has been discussing dissolving her marriage with divorce attorneys for over two decades and even presented a copy of signed divorce papers that she never filed.
She said she was about to file the documents, but her attorney and financial advisers told her to wait, and added she would “eventually” file for divorce.
In addition to owning the Clippers, the Sterlings also own a great deal of rental properties in the Los Angeles area so dividing their assets would be complex and costly for both parties. Each rental unit would have to be appraised and rental income would have to be calculated and divided.
Before she gets entangled in a divorce battle, Shelly Sterling has other legal matters she needs to settle. Currently, she is suing Donald Sterling’s mistress V. Strivino, who also allegedly leaked the tape of Sterling’s racist rant, for $2.5 million. In the suit filed over a month ago, Shelly Sterling alleges her husband showered the much younger woman with gifts as “part and parcel of their sexual relationship,” and wants the money returned.
Divorces can be complicated, especially when a couple has a large number of assets, but the process can be made simpler and less painful with a divorce attorney.