LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A judge has rejected a request made by Shelly Sterling for an injunction against Donald Sterling following alleged threats made by the Los Angeles Clippers’ co-owner.
Her legal team filed an emergency petition Thursday alleging her husband threatened her lawyer and the doctors who stated he was mentally incapacitated.
Her attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, claimed Sterling called him June 9 and said, “I am going to take you out, O’Donnell.”
“You don’t do that. You don’t call up doctors and tell them they’re effing incompetent and ‘I’m going to get your job. I’m going to take your license,'” O’Donnell said. “Lawyers can’t do that and parties can’t do that. These are just bullying tactics.”
Sterling was also recorded on the answering machines of two doctors who examined his mental capacity. He tells one, “How dare you give my medical records from my head to a law firm who hired you. They hired you for the purpose of finding me incompetant. I’m not incompetant. You’re (expletive) incompetant you stupid (expletive) doctor. How dare you!”
In another call Sterling says, “You’re nothing but a fraud, and a liar, and a cheat. And I am going to see that you lose your license and I’m suing you for conspiracy.”
These recordings were provided by Shelly Sterling’s attorneys, who asked the judge to order her husband to stop intimidating potential witnesses in the case.
LA Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas turned down the request, but mentioned he will consider this matter again during trial.
He also acknowledged there are high levels of emotions surrounding the proposed $2 billion sale of the Clippers, but he asked all parties to tone down their communications.
Donald Sterling’s lawyers say the recordings are a sideshow to divert attention from the real legal issues in the case.
“The whole incident has been blown out of proportion,” according to attorney Maxwell Blecher. “Our side was concerned that the doctors were giving out reports on his medical condition willy-nilly to people who had no entitlement to that, and that’s what started the process. It got a little bit out of hand.”
But Shelly Sterling’s lead attorney says the recordings help prove their main contention, that Donald Sterling isn’t mentally capable of running his company.
“We are going to offer this evidence at trial as very significant dramatic evidence of his lack of capacity, that he can’t control his impulses,” O’Donnell said. “This is horrible judgement. And if he has a short fuse should that person be running a multi-million dollar empire?”
A trial is scheduled to begin July 7 to determine if Shelly Sterling has authority to sell the team.
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