LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — V. Stiviano, the woman whom Donald Sterling was talking to when he made racist remarks, is “very saddened” by his lifetime NBA ban, and she didn’t release the recording of their conversation, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Stiviano “never wanted any harm to Donald,” Siamak Nehoray of Calabasas told the Los Angeles Times.
Somebody released it “for money,” but it wasn’t Stiviano, the attorney said.
“My client is devastated that this got out,” he said.
KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold reported that Stiviano, who has been seen coming and going from her home in an oversized visor, has chosen not to speak with the media herself about the recordings or the lifetime ban.
On Stiviano’s Facebook page, however, she wrote, “This is not what I intended, but racism should not be tolerated in this country.”
The Insider’s Kevin Frazier spoke with a close friend of Stiviano, who said she knew the tapes would cause an uproar.
“V. Stiviano is very smart and knows a lot of things. And she knew exactly what would happen,” said Karrine Steffans, adding that she reached out to Magic Johnson before the tapes were released.
In March, Sterling’s wife, Rochelle, sued Stiviano, seeking the return of more than $2.5 million in lavish gifts the woman allegedly received from her husband, including luxury cars and a $1.8 million duplex.
The lawsuit claims Stiviano, 31, met Sterling, 80, at the 2010 Super Bowl.
It accuses Stiviano of engaging “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 whom she targets for such purpose.”
Stiviano’s attorney has filed documents to dismiss many of the accusations and denies that she took advantage of Sterling, describing him as having an “iron will” and being one of the world’s shrewdest businessmen.
Nehoray told the Times that Stiviano and Sterling didn’t have a romantic relationship.
“It’s nothing like it’s been portrayed,” the lawyer said. “She’s not the type of person everyone says.”
She was a hard-working waitress and did volunteer work helping crime victims before becoming an “archivist” for Sterling, he said.
“She had no association with any rich people before this,” he said.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Stiviano was a volunteer with its Victim-Witness Assistance Program in 2010 and 2011, the Times said.
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