Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, Rochelle Sterling, supports the Los Angeles Clippers, but not her husband’s “despicable” racist comments that he can be heard saying to his girlfriend in a leaked audio recording.
“Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband,” Sterling told TMZ . “My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices. We will not let one man’s small-mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love. We are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our Clippers team.”
While her husband was not in attendance at the team’s playoff game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, she sat courtside and flew back to L.A. with the Clippers after their loss.
“I don’t condone those statements and I don’t believe in them,” Sterling told ESPN. “I’m not a racist. Never have been, never will be. The team is the most important thing to my family.”
In a show of solidarity before the start of the game, the NBA team came onto the court at the Oracle Arena wearing their warm-up jerseys inside-out to hide the logo, now overshadowed by Sterling’s remarks to his girlfriend, V Stiviano.
Stiviano, who denies leaking the “legitimate” audio of the Clippers owner asking her not to bring black people to the games, is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit Shelly Sterling filed in L.A.’s Superior Court. The suit alleges Stiviano embezzled more than $1.8 million from the Sterling family.
The Clippers organization released a statement over the weekend, which identified the recording of Sterling as “the antithesis of who he is,” while identifying Stiviano as the prime suspect behind the leak.
“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered,” the team said. “We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.'”