Shelly Sterling heads to court AP Photo NY159

LOS ANGELES — Shelly Sterling’s attorney will be in probate court on Wednesday to seek an emergency order
for a hearing so a judge can confirm her authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, according to an
individual familiar with the matter.
The individual was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Shelly Sterling brokered what would be a record-breaking $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve
Ballmer to sell the team after her husband and co-owner Donald Sterling made racist comments to a
girlfriend that were recorded and publicized. The NBA moved swiftly to oust him as an owner.
But Donald Sterling has vowed not to sell and is suing the NBA for $1 billion.
Donald Sterling said in a statement released by his attorney on Tuesday that he’s fighting for the
fundamental rights of Americans against the NBA which he calls “a band of hypocrites and bullies” and
“despicable monsters.”
His statement is titled in caps and underlined: “WHY I AM FIGHTING THE NBA? THE NBA WANTS TO TAKE AWAY
OUR PRIVACY RIGHTS AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH.”
Shelly Sterling contends she is the sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the team.
Donald Sterling was stripped as co-trustee after two neurologists last month determined he was suffering
from dementia and “mentally incapacitated” under the trust’s conditions, according to a person who is
familiar with the trust and the medical evaluations but could not speak publicly.
The aim of Sterling’s court bid is to have a judge confirm provisions of the family trust to ensure the
Ballmer sale moves forward without a hitch. Donald Sterling has the right to present his side at any
hearing and appeal any decision.
His attorney Maxwell Blecher said a representative for Donald Sterling will be at the hearing, and that
the main issue to be decided is whether Donald Sterling is mentally competent.
“There isn’t the slightest evidence he’s incapable of managing his affairs,” Blecher said. He said the
next step is to have other doctors evaluate Sterling.
“I have no doubt at the end of the day the court is not going to say he’s incompetent. That’s a very high
burden in the probate court — otherwise people would get their sisters and wife and brother-in-laws and
everybody declared incompetent.”
Though both Sterlings will have their own attorneys at the hearing Wednesday and they live apart, the
couple remains “chummy,” Blecher said.
“It’s what I describe to people as a strange estrangement, they don’t seem at all hostile to each other,
and he’s very solicitous of her,” Blecher said. “They’ve been married 58 years. Each threatens the other
one they’re going to get a divorce but they never did and never have.”
On Monday, Donald Sterling pulled his support from the Ballmer deal. He instructed his attorneys to
prosecute the lawsuit against the NBA that alleges the league violated his constitutional rights by
relying on information from an “illegal” recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a
girlfriend.
It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it
violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.
Donald Sterling agreed to ink the deal and drop the suit last week assuming “all their differences had
been resolved,” his attorneys said. But individuals close to the negotiations who weren’t authorized to
speak publicly said he decided to not sign the papers after learning the NBA won’t revoke its lifetime
ban and $2.5 million fine.
“He never voluntarily said ‘Oh let’s sell the team for $2 billion,’ he didn’t care about the money and
he’s walking away from it now. It’s not about the money,” Blecher said. “To him it’s about the ownership
of the team, the maintenance of his integrity, reputation and dignity. That’s what he wanted from the
league. He wanted to have them help him restore it and they wouldn’t do it.”
Donald Sterling’s comments to V. Stiviano included telling her to not bring black people to Clippers
games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. They resulted in outrage from the public and
players and even President Barack Obama.