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Riding in on a white horse to save the city of Los Angeles from the recently voted most hated man in America, Donald Sterling, is Steve Ballmer. If reports are true, Steve Ballmer and wife Connie Ballmer are headed to Los Angeles to take the reins of the city's second team.
Ballmer, a former Microsoft CEO, has reportedly led a group offering up more than $2,000,000,000 (for those not counting zeros, that's $2 Billion) to buy the Los Angeles Clippers and rid professional sports of the Sterling. This isn't Ballmer's first attempt to gain entry to the NBA, having previously put forward funds in an effort to first keep and then bring back the Seattle SuperSonics. He later made a bid to buy the Kings when the Maloofs sold in 2013, ultimately falling short of a winning bid. Interestingly, during the May 11 Clippers playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Steve Ballmer was photographed sitting alongside NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Los Angeles will prove a new pace for Connie Ballmer. The Oregon native Connie has stayed in the Pacific Northwest her entire life. After graduating from Western Washington University, she settled down with Steve at 28 years old and returned while Steve climbed the Microsoft ladder in Seattle. Connie and Steve founded the charitable Partnership of our Children, with a $10 million donation. Partnership of our Children was founded to bring together funds from state, college and private funds to improve Washington's state child-welfare system.
Steve and Connie Ballmer have three sons, Sam, Peter and Aaron with the youngest still in high school.
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UPDATE 04/28/2014 In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Donald Sterling and estranged wife Shelly Sterling emerged in public on a dinner date Sunday evening.
On Sunday evening, Shelly Sterling released a statement through TMZ saying:
"Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband. My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices. We will not let one man's small-mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love. We are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our Clippers team."
Now here's where this gets weird. Just a few hours after releasing that statement, Donald and Shelly were seen leaving Flemings Steakhouse in Los Angeles. Figuring there's plenty to talk about, them being together isn't impossible to see happening. But when the paparazzi asked Donald Sterling if he was a racist, Shelly shouted out "OF COURSE NOT." She repeated the same "OF COURSE NOT," when asked if the accusations were true, before saying what sounded like that the tapes were altered while climbing into the drivers seat (audio isn't perfectly clear).
This is bound to continue getting weirder before a resolution comes to pass.
Lost in the midst of the latest racially charged controversy with Clippers owner, is Shelly Sterling, the wife of Donald Sterling.
Donald and Shelly Sterling (Rochelle Sterling) were married in 1957, and despite nearly 50 years of married life, the couple parted ways. They are not officially divorced, and given the significant property and assets that would need to be sorted, may very well just work better for both parties this way. The couple had three children together, Scott, Chris and Joanna Sterling. Scott Sterling was found dead on January 1, 2013 from what was reported as an apparent drug overdose at an apartment owned by Donald.
Though still legally married, Shelly knew full well of the woman in the infamous tapes, Donald Sterling's girlfriend V Stiviano. Forbes Magazine reports that fights between both Sterling's and Stiviano were common and public at Clippers home games. In March, 2014, Shelly Sterling filed suit in Los Angeles Court against Donald Sterling's girlfriend V Stiviano on behalf of the entire Sterling family. The suit was filed to recover more than $1.8 million in the form of a duplex, Ferrari, Range Rover, and two Bentleys. For her part, Stiviano has claimed that every item in the suit was given to her as a gift from the Clippers owner.
During the first game since the audio was released, Shelly Sterling sat courtside wearing all black in support with the Clippers players. Though she refused to be interviewed live during the ABC broadcast, Shelly wanted to make it abundantly clear that she does not share her estranged husbands world views and is absolutely NOT a racist telling Lisa Salters, “I am not a racist. I do not condone the things you heard on that tape.”.
There is sure to be more on this story as it develops, and we'll try to follow details as best we can.
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Posing for a picture with an NBA legend at an NBA playoff game seems like an exciting prospect.... unless you're Donald Sterling's girlfriend V. Stiviano.
TMZ has obtained shocking audio of the Los Angeles Clippers owner berating his girlfriend with a racially driven diatribe after Stiviano posted a picture to her Instagram with Lakers legend Magic Johnson. During the argument, Sterling goes to the race well repeatedly asking why Stiviano has to promote associating with black people on her public Instagram page and specifically to not bring black people to his Clipper games (where 80% of his roster and his head coach are black by the way). Ironically, Stiviano herself is half black, half Mexican.
This is not Sterling's first, or second, or third racially charged controversy. Previously sued by the federal government for housing discrimination against minorities, NBA legend Elgin Baylor also sued for discrimination. Stiviano provides a perfect response to the repeatedly charged comments, saying "I'm sorry that you're still racist in your heart."
We were surprised to learn that Sterling was dating at all, previously under the impression he was married. Donald Sterling's wife Shelly Sterling is still working for the Clippers front office, though the two have been separated for years. She has told TMZ she is "mortified," by the recording.
Stiviano's Instagram page provides a perfect quote for today:
One day I will look back at Instagram & say,"I've been there & I've done that." I do it all.