Sterling: NBA Violated My Constitutional Rights
May 27, 2014
In documents obtained by ET, Donald Sterling has denied that the NBA has lawful grounds to forcibly strip [him] and his wife of their ownership interest in the Los Angeles Clippers and claims that he should retain ownership of the team.
In the papers, Sterling claims that "the Commissioner's charge rests solely on comments made to Ms. V. Stiviano during an illegally recorded private conversation that occurred in her living room ... the conversation is not usable for any purpose and should not be considered as evidence against Mr. Sterling."
According to the documents, the California Penal Code "criminalizes the act of recording another's confidential communication without their consent." The papers go on to say that "Mr. Sterling expected -- and had -- a constitutional right not to have his private confidential communications recorded."
Furthermore, Sterling argues in the documents that he didn't break any NBA rules.
"A jealous rant to a lover never intended to be published cannot offend the NBA rules," the papers claim.
The alleged "lover" refers to 31-year-old V. Stiviano. In the recordings leaked to the public, Sterling can be heard telling Stiviano not to post photos of herself with black people or to bring black friends to Clippers games.
In a letter answering the NBA's charge, Sterling writes: "It appears that the NBA would rather go forward with the illegal termination process. Therefore, I have no alternative but to exercise my legal rights. Furthermore, I have received offers in excess of $2.5 billion for the purchase of the team."
The NBA responded, stating, "This evening, the NBA received responses from Donald and Shelly Sterling to the charge to terminate the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers. The NBA Board of Governors will meet on June 3 at 1 p.m. in New York City to hear and vote upon this matter. Should the Board vote to sustain the charge, the Sterlings' interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold."
Later, Shelly Sterling's attorney Pierce O'Donnell chimed in.
"Donald Sterling has authorized Shelly Sterling in writing to negotiate the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, including his 50 percent ownership of the team," O'Donnell wrote in a statement to ET. "Shelly is managing the sale of the Clippers. While no formal offers have yet been received, Shelly and the NBA are working cooperatively on the transaction."