LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Shelly Sterling took the stand again in the case of Sterling vs. Sterling, the case that could decide if Donald Sterling’s estranged wife has the right to sell the Clippers.
CBS2’s Randy Paige reported there were lots of fireworks Wednesday but “today was more of a legal day.”
Shelly got to explain in detail her decision to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
She was questioned by her attorney, Pierce O’Donnell. Donald was not in the courtroom
Shelly testified her husband was worried that the NBA would make good on its threat to assemble the other team owners June 3, take over the team and sell it.
“His biggest concern was to stop the sale of the team by the league,” she testified.
She also testified her husband was initially happy with the $2 billion sale price she negotiated for the team.
“He was very happy and very proud of me and said, ‘Wow, you really did a good job,’ ” she said in court.
Two days later, on June 29, she told the court she called him to sign the agreement.
“He started screaming and yelling at me and cussing and uncontrollable, that he’s not signing, he’s going to sue them. And I said, ‘But, I already gave him my word and you told me you wanted me to see the team. You were in favor of it.’ ”
Later that night, she said, Donald was removed as a trustee and she signed the agreement going ahead with the sale.
Donald Sterling’s lawyers said he was not removed as a trustee due to the Alzheimer’s disease Shelly’s side contends he has but rather just to sell the team.
“This is all about the sale of the team,” said Donald’s lawyer, Bobby Samini. “There is no doubt in my mind that if this issue were not pending, if the sale of the team were not at issue, we wouldn’t be having this discussion in court.”
Shelly’s attorney’s maintain she was acting in the best interests of the family trust and her husband by securing the sale.
“She’s a very lovely lady, and very honest. Very sincere. She really cares about this guy,” said Shelly’s attorney Bert Fields.
Paige also said there were some lighter moments in the courtroom Thursday.
“Like when Shelly Sterling testified that she liked Steve Ballmer so much, she would have sold him the team for a lot less money,” Paige reported.
At that point, the attorney representing Ballmer — Adam Streisand — raised his hand and said, “Your honor, can I make a phone call?”
The entire courtroom erupted in laughter, Paige reported.
Shelly’s legal team has presented her case. Beginning Friday, Donald Sterling’s side presents its case.
The Ballmer deal was set to expire Tuesday. Streisand said there was a clause in place to keep the proposed sale in place if progress was being made towards a deal.