ESPN reports that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, is scheduled to appear Thursday in court to argue that her husband and his attorneys have threatened, intimidated, and harassed witnesses scheduled to testify in the July probate court hearing pertaining to the sale of the team. She will seek a restraining order today for her husband, who, she alleges, threatened to kill her lawer, TMZ reports.
That hearing was triggered by an emergency petition Shelly Sterling filed regarding her sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion. Unless that sale is completed by September 15, the NBA will return to its attempt to terminate Donald Sterling’s ownership because of the racist comments he has made, and Shelly Sterling’s sale would be invalidated.
The fight between the Sterlings started when two neurologists evaluated Donald Sterling and asserted that his dementia was consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. That diagnosis, they said, left him unable to make decisions regarding his business and legal affairs. Once that determination was made, Shelly Sterling became sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.
Donald Sterling then challenged the diagnosis and his wife’s subsequent authority to sell the team. On June 9, his lawyers filed a motion to prevent Shelly Sterling from taking over the family trust by revoking the terms of the trust.
The sale of the team by Ballmer requires that either Donald Sterling must okay it or a court must validate Shelly Sterling’s position as the sole trustee.