Donald Sterling to sue TMZ over famed audio tape

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A year and some change after the audio tape heard ’round the world led to Donald Sterling’s exit and Steve Ballmer’s entrance as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, the former owner is looking to exact revenge on the entities that exposed him as the Associated Press and others are reporting Sterling has filed a lawsuit against gossip site TMZ and mistress V. Stiviano.

"Sterling’s lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court accused TMZ and V. Stiviano of violating his privacy and causing damage on a ”scale of unparalleled and unprecedented magnitude.”"

For those who forgot, the tapes, which hit the internet on April 25, of Sterling asking for mistress Stiviano to not associate with African-Americans. “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games,” said Sterling at the 3:30 mark of the recording. Minutes later, he’d plea for Stiviano to not invite African-Americans to Clippers games. “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.”

The audio taping surfaced during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, as his Clippers faced off against the Golden State Warriors — around the NBA, players showed support for the Clippers players and staff by blacking out pre-game attire, and the Clippers/Warriors threatened to boycott Game 4 of their series if the NBA failed to take immediate action. Avoiding a public relations fallout, the NBA and then newly appointed league commissioner Adam Silver, on 29, hastily addressed Sterling and the tape in a press conference, banning Sterling from the NBA “for life”, issuing a $2.5 million fine.

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  • Less than a full month later, after dealing with lawsuits, court rulings, and sifting through potential buyers, which included Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen, and Patrick Soon-Shoing, the richest man in California, at some capacity, Shelly Sterling selected former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as owner, selling the franchise for a record $2 billion.

    This is the second time Donald Sterling’s name has popped up in the last week, with the previous mention being notice of the former Clippers owner filing for divorce with long-time spouse Shelly Sterling, weeks shy of the couple’s 60th relationship.

    Given Donald Sterling’s past, finding empathy for the aging figure is an empty process. He made this bed, whether he consented for the audio taping’s to be heard or not, and now, after a year of troubles, he’ll continue to lie in it.

    If any interesting information from the lawsuit emerges, we’ll be sure to give and update on the matter.

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