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In the latest twist in the Donald Sterling scandal, the wife of the Clippers team owner has spelled out her opposition to a forced sale of the team.
Shelly Sterling, who spoke with Barbara Walters on Sunday for an ABC News interview, reiterated her desire to maintain co-ownership of the Los Angeles basketball franchise.
“I was shocked by what he said. And — well, I guess whatever their decision is — we have to live with it,” Sterling told Walters. “But I don’t know why I should be punished for what his actions were.”
Meanwhile, Donald Sterling recorded an interview with Anderson Cooper to be aired on CNN on Monday at 8 pm, a network spokesperson confirms to The Hollywood Reporter. No excerpts of that interview had been released as of Sunday.
Walters previously interviewed V. Stiviano, the woman heard in the audio remarks that were obtained by gossip websites TMZ and Deadspin. Stiviano is a defendant in a civil action suit filed by Shelly Sterling.
On April 29, days after audio of Donald Sterling’s racist remarks was posted, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned the Clippers owner for life from attending league games and pledged to force a sale of the team.
“I will fight that decision,” Shelly Sterling told Walters. “To be honest with you, I’m wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there’s 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?”
Also on Sunday, Magic Johnson voiced his opposition to Shelly Sterling maintaining ownership of the team. The NBA Hall of Famer’s remarks to an ESPN/ABC sideline reporter were televised during the third quarter of the Clippers playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
Previously, Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said his client “will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest.”
“As her lawyers we will fight vigorously to defend her property rights,” he said.
O’Donnell said Shelly Sterling has no interest in managing the Clippers and wants a new investor group to come in with a professional management team.
O’Donnell also told The Associated Press that Shelly Sterling has been separated from her husband for the last year and is considering divorce. There is no record of legal separation documents being filed, though O’Donnell said the couple is living apart.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.
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