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Sterling: 'I wish I had just paid her off'

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling spoke out for the first time since he was suspended for life by the NBA this week for his racially charged comments on an audio recording.

In an interview with Los Angeles lifestyle magazine DuJour, Sterling mentioned his regret with his handling of V. Stiviano, the girlfriend with whom he was speaking when the recording that could end up costing him the team was made.

"I wish I had just paid her off," Sterling told the magazine.

Stiviano also submitted to an interview, with Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20, and said Friday that she does not believe Sterling is a racist.

"I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than I am," she said. "I think 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."

Stiviano went on to say she thinks he should apologize for his remarks and that he feels abandoned, puzzled and alone by those close to him.

"I think he's highly more traumatized and hurt by the things that he said himself," she said. "I think he can't even believe or understand sometimes the thing he says, and I think he's hurt by it. He's hurting right now."

The remarks captured on the tape, in which Sterling encouraged Stiviano not to bring blacks to games and or to post pictures of herself online with black people, were not the first time he said such things, Stiviano told Walters.

"There's been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one," Stiviano said. "This was one of very many."

The magazine did not release any other comments from the billionaire businessman. DuJour reported that Sterling showed remorse while speaking with a reporter. He added that he would only do future interviews with the NBA or Walters, with whom he spoke Friday but would not consent to go on the air.

The NBA's next move is to force Sterling to sell the team. Three-quarters of the team's owners are required to gain approval to move forward. Sterling is expected to fight any attempts at a forced sale through litigation.

The New York Post also reported late Thursday night that the 80-year-old Sterling is battling prostate cancer.

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