Shelly Sterling, the wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, says she plans to divorce her husband and will fight to keep her stake in the Clippers.
In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Sterling said if the NBA forces her to sell her half of the team, she “will fight that decision.”
“To be honest with you, I’m wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there’s 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?” she said. “I don’t know why I should be punished for what his actions were.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life from the NBA after an audio recording in which Sterling told V. Stiviano not to bring “black people” to his games surfaced. Sterling has claimed he made those comments to try to have sex with Stiviano. On Friday, the NBA appointed for Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons to be the team’s interim CEO, and the league reportedly believes it has the legal authority to force Shelly and Donald Sterling to sell the team.
She said her husband may be suffering from the “onset of dementia” and has been seeing attorneys about a divorced “for the last 20 years.” If Shelly Sterling files for divorce, it could, according to divorce lawyers, halt the potential forced sale of the team.
“In fact, I have here– I just filed– I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial advisor and my attorney said to me, ‘Not now,'” she said.
NBA players have indicated that they may boycott games next season if Sterling still owns the team.