Rochelle Sterling, the wife of embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, is the latest face to emerge in one of the biggest scandals to rock the NBA in recent years. On May 30, after gaining control of the Clippers from husband, who was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s, she sold the team to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Here’s what you need to know about her.
1. She’s Suing Donald’s Mistress
She’s in the middle of a lawsuit against V. Stiviano, the purported girlfriend of Donald who is the recipient of his controversial comments in the leaked video that sparked the scandal. Shelly says Donald Sterling’s mistress is a “gold digger.” In a lawsuit filed in March, Shelly alleges that Stiviano is embezzling money from the Sterling family, reports the LA Times.
According to the filings, Donald Sterling gave V. Stiviano a Ferrari, two Bentleys and Range Rover, amounting to a cost of $500,000.
2. She Was Accused of Posing as a Health Inspector & Discriminating Against Blacks & Hispanics
A 2003 District Court document outlining the case of the Housing Rights Center versus Donald Sterling Corp. alleges that Shelly would pose as a health inspector and use that bogus authority to record tenants’ ethnicities.
Shelly is also named in a 2006 lawsuit by the United States government against Donald and Shelly, in which the government claimed:
Defendants Donald Sterling, Rochelle Sterling, and their agents and/or employees have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, and familial status in connection with the rental of dwellings owned by the Korean Land Company, the Sterling Family Trust, and Donald and Rochelle Sterling, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Read the document below:
That suit was settled in 2009 for $2.7 million, with the Sterlings maintaining that they were guilty of no wrongdoing.
3. The Sterlings’ Youngest Child Died of a Drug Overdose Last Year
Scott Sterling was found dead of a drug overdose at the age of 32 in January 2013. He had been living at an apartment owned by his father in Malibu. Shelly released a statement at the time of his death, saying:
Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes […] His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him.
The drug used in the overdose was oxycodone.
The Sterlings have two surviving children: Chris, 58, and Joanna Tiffany, 43.
4. Her 57-Year Marriage Is Headed for Divorce
The lawyer Shelly has retained for her lawsuit against V. Stiviano, Laura Wasser, is a renowned divorce attorney. TMZ reports that Shelly may be planning a separation from Donald Sterling. The gossip site says that after Scott’s death in 2013, Donald Sterling was more interested in spending time with Stiviano than with his mourning family.
Shelly and Donald, both 80, have been married since 1957.
5. She Claims Her Family Is ‘Devastated’ by Donald’s Racist Comments
She’s said that her “family is devastated” by her husband’s comments, which you can hear in the TMZ tape above. Shelly added that she is not a “racist.”
Rochelle Sterling, Donald Sterling's wife, says in a statement that her "family is devastated" by comments made by her estranged husband.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 28, 2014