V. Stiviano, the woman to whom Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was speaking when he offered up the racist words that would become his professional epitaph, claims to be "devastated" that the conversations were made public.
Siamak Nehoray, Stiviano's attorney, said that she was "very sad" to hear of his ban, and that she "never wanted any harm to Donald." Stiviano continues to profess innocence in the release of the recording. The sections released by TMZ and Deadspin over the weekend constitute about 15 minutes' worth of an hour of recorded conversation, Nehoray said.
In the conversation, Sterling professed frustration with Stiviano's behavior for posing with African-American friends in Instagram pictures, among many other racist statements. It was those statements which in turn caused NBA commissioner Adam Silver to ban Sterling from the NBA for life and fine him $2.5 million. Silver also pledged to help facilitate the sale of the Clippers as soon as possible.
Stiviano was already the target of a lawsuit from Sterling's estranged wife Rochelle, who has charged that Stiviano was in possession of $1.8 million worth of the Sterlings' community property. That suit contends that Stiviano “engages in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce and then entice, cajole, borrow from, cheat and/or receive as gifts transfers of wealth from wealthy older men.” Stiviano has denied the allegations.
Stiviano has avoided any public comment since the airing of the tape. Here she is leaving her Los Angeles duplex wearing what appears to be some sort of welder's mask.
Stiviano's role in this saga is by no means done. In addition to the lawsuit she faces from Sterling's estranged wife, she will still have to answer questions about the origin of the tape, as recording someone without their consent is illegal under California law.
Meanwhile, questions persist about how exactly the NBA will force Sterling to sell the Clippers. "Devastated" or not, Stiviano, with her conversation, has set in motion a chain of events which will reshape sports in Los Angeles, one way or another.