Ever since a recording of racist comments by Clippers owner Donald Sterling was made public, the media has been fawning over Sterling’s girlfriend and recording leaker, V. Stiviano. Little has been done to learn about this woman’s history but now records have turned up showing she has a record of multiple arrests for theft under multiple names. Sources also say she is being investigated for trying to extort money from Sterling.
Gossip website TMZ posted the records of Stiviano’s multiple arrests under multiple names and it seems she has quite a history of arrests for theft, burglary, and drug and alcohol charges.
In 2002, records show Stiviano was arrested for theft by the Los Angeles Police Department. Then in 2004 the Santa Monica PD arrested her for petty theft and felony burglary. By 2010 the LAPD again apprehended her on charges of possession of a controlled substance. Finally, in 2012 she was arrested for drunk driving by the California Highway Patrol.
Court records also show that V. Stiviano has used at least five different names over the years.
Sterling’s girlfriend has gone under the name Vannessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos, Maria Valdez, Maria Vanessa Perez and Mariamonica Perez Gallegos. Of course, now she is going by the handle V. Stiviano.
Additionally, in some cases she identified herself as “black,” while in others she told police she was “Hispanic.”
As TMZ quipped, “Now it’s clear why Donald Sterling was so confused about her race in the recording.” But, unlike the multiple aliases, Stiviano’s ethnic self-identification stems less from deception than from the fact that she comes from a multiracial background.
It also appears that V. Stiviano may be under investigation for attempting to extort money from Sterling over the recordings.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that the L.A. County D.A.’s office is now looking into charges that Stiviano collected the recordings and tried to get the Clippers owner to hand over cash to make them go away.
Since the beginning of this story there have been hints that Stiviano might have been demanding money for the recordings.
Early in the controversy reports that Sterling had asked Stiviano what he could do to make these recordings “go away” showed up in several places.
In another interview, Sterling grumbled, “I wish I had just paid her off.”
Additionally, since the beginning there has been speculation as to whether or not Stiviano’s recordings of Sterlings violated the law. California is one of the few states to have “two party consent,” meaning that both parties being recorded have to be made aware that a recording is being made and must agree to allow it.
If V. Stiviano recorded Sterling without his consent or knowledge that would violate the state’s consent laws. Stiviano’s lawyers, though, have maintained that Sterling was aware that he was being recorded.
Regardless, this question of consent will likely be a key part of any investigation into the incident.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org