LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The woman scolded by former Clippers owner Donald Sterling for bringing black people to games was ordered Monday to pay over $50,000 in legal fees related to her failed defamation countersuit against the billionaire’s wife, the Sterling family trust and a former Clippers team entity.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin granted the attorneys for Sterling their request to dismiss V. Stiviano’s claims in November, which allowed the Sterling parties to seek attorneys’ fees.
Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Caroline Heindel, said that the countersuit allegations that her client defamed Stiviano via the national news media by calling her a thief and claiming she embezzled funds and other properties from Donald Sterling were unclear.
Heindel also represents L.A. Sports Properties and the Sterling family trust.
Stiviano’s countersuit was so vague, Heindel said, that an Internet search was performed in order to see if there was anything to support her allegations.
Heindel sought to compensate her clients getting Stiviano’s complain tossed through attorneys’ fees and costs. The former owner’s estranged wife had asked for $40,460, while the trust and L.A. Sports Properties wanted approximately $19,800.
The three parties involved also asked for another $10,000 to pay for additional costs related to the motions to obtain the attorneys’ fees.
Fruin ultimately granded the attorneys’ fees, but with a total of $11,500 in deductions.
Mac Nehoray, Stiviano’s attorney, claimed that the amount being sought by the Sterling parties was “outrageous” and urged Fruin to award a lesser amount.
“They’re billing for something a clerk could have done,” Nehoray said.
On March 7, Shelly Sterling filed a lawsuit in an effort to get property given to Stiviano, which was jointly owned by the Sterlings. That suit alleged that Stiviano, who would often attend Clippers games with Donald, met him at the 2010 Super Bowl and began a sexual relationship with him.
Donald Sterling, who paid $12.5 million to obtain the Clippers in 1981, was pressured to sell the team after the release of recorded conversations between him and Stiviano.
In those conversations, Sterling criticized Stiviano for taking pictures with black people and told her not to bring black people to Clippers games. Those comments resulted in Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA, issued by commissioner Adam Silver.
After a lengthy legal battle last Summer, Shelly Sterling sold the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
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