Judge to Sterling's Ex: Give Back $1.8M House, $800K

Donald Sterling's wife, Shelly, wins case against V. Stiviano
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 15, 2015 6:48 AM CDT
Judge to Sterling's Ex: Give Back $1.8M House, $800K
In this March 4, 2015, file photo, Shelly Sterling, wife of ex-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, attends a game between the Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles.   (Jae C. Hong)

The billionaire wife of Donald Sterling got her revenge against a woman he secretly showered with gifts and whose recording of his racist rant cost him ownership of the LA Clippers. Shelly Sterling's victory yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court will force V. Stiviano to surrender a $1.8 million duplex and return $800,000 lavished on her in cash and luxury cars during a shadowy relationship. Shelly Sterling claimed that Stiviano, 32, seduced her 80-year-old husband and manipulated him to give up community property the couple amassed through a real estate rental empire built over six decades of marriage. Judge Richard Fruin Jr. rejected arguments by Stiviano's lawyer that the gifts were made when the Sterlings were separated and that Shelly Sterling couldn't seek them from a third party.

Sterling initially sought about $3.6 million from Stiviano, a figure an accountant said was conservative given a $240,000 Ferrari, extravagant spending sprees, and world travel. After Fruin had difficulty connecting all the money to Stiviano, Sterling's lawyers reduced their claim to $2.8 million; Fruin awarded all of that but $200,000. The Sterlings presented a united front at the trial, discussing their enduring love, while the gloves came off between the two women: Shelly Sterling said Stiviano had been nasty to her and taken advantage of her husband and didn't deserve millions in gifts; Stiviano called Sterling the "Wicked Witch of the West" and said she hated her. The ruling comes nearly a year after the recording of Sterling telling Stiviano not to associate with black people led the NBA to ban him for life and fine him $2.5 million. Stiviano's attorney said they'll appeal. (More Donald Sterling stories.)

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