The wife of embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly made racist comments to a tenant and manager at one of the couple’s buildings, according to court documents obtained by Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.
During a 2009 deposition for a federal lawsuit alleging discriminatory behaviour by the Sterlings, one tenant of a building owned by the Sterlings testified that he had asked Rochelle Sterling if she would reduce the rent during a discussion of the building.
The tenant said that Mrs. Sterling responded by saying “who do you think you are, you black m — f — ?”
That case, along with suits brought by the Justice Department and other tenants, ended with a $US2.765 million settlement in which the Sterlings did not admit any wrongdoing.
In another deposition in 2009, a property manager for a building owned by the Sterlings testified Rochelle had said “Oh, my God. This is so filthy. I can’t remodel my apartments the way that I want because Latinos are so filthy.”
Donald Sterling has also been accused of making racist comments in relation to his dealings as a property owner.
Rochelle Sterling issued a statement earlier this week saying she “does not condone” the comments made by her husband and that she is not a racist. That move may have been an effort to distance herself from her husband’s comments so that she could remain the owner of the team.
However, the recent report by the L.A. Times may make it more likely that the NBA will force the team to be sold.
We reached out to Rochelle Sterling’s attorney, Laura Wasser, to give her a chance to comment on the specific allegations in the 2009 depositions. We will update this post with her comments if we hear back.
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