What Happened To Former Clippers Owner Donald Sterling’s Mistress, V. Stiviano?
V. Stiviano was at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal after audio Stiviano recorded of Sterling exposing his racist viewpoints was leaked to the public. Stiviano stood by Sterling publicly and tried to rectify his reputation through televised interviews but the damage was done. Sterling was banned from the NBA for life and lost ownership of the LA Clippers.
Stiviano disappeared from the spotlight after the media attention surrounding the incident died down but people’s fascination has been reinvigorated following Quibi’s new documentary, Blackballed. The documentary explores how the scandal changed the NBA.
V. Stiviano was made famous after a recording she made exposing Donald Sterling’s racism was leaked to TMZ
Stiviano began working for Sterling at his charitable foundation and eventually was promoted to his personal assistant. She later told Barbra Walters during an interview that her relationship with Sterling was strictly platonic and that he was like a father figure to her.
Despite such, the nature of their relationship appeared to be on the lines of romantic when TMZ leaked audio recorded by Stiviano of Sterling angrily ranting about her affiliation with black men.
Stiviano posted a photo of her with NBA legend Magic Johnson and posted it to her Instagram account, which enraged Sterling. On the audio, he was overheard telling Stiviano:
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” He also told her that she could “sleep” with whomever she chose to but he forbid her from bringing people of color to his games.
Stiviano shot back that like “those” men, she was of Black and Mexican descent and took offense to Sterling’s comments. Stiviano swore that she was not responsible for the leak. Instead, she blamed a friend as the culprit.
Sterling was known in NBA circles to be a racist. He’d been sued by former tenants of his California complexes for discrimination. NBA executives also filed lawsuits, alleging that Sterling made racial comments and did not pay them fairly.
Donald Sterling’s wife sued V. Stiviano to return all gifts to him
All the while Viviano was spending close and quality time with Sterling, who was almost 50 years her senior, Sterling was very much a married man. His wife, Shelly, often attended games with him and the two never legally separated.
They both claimed they were a couple and Shelly accused Viviano of being Sterling’s mistress. Furthermore, she accused Viviano of going after Sterling for his money and wealth and manipulating him into gifting her with lavish things, including a duplex in Beverly Hills and luxury cars.
Weeks before the audio was leaked, Shelly sued Viviano demanding that she return all gifts she received during her alleged relationship with Sterling. Shelly listed that among the things gifted to Viviano from her billionaire husband were a $1.8 million home, two luxury cars, stocks, over $200,000 in cash, and a shopping trip in Paris. Stiviano was also accused of forging documents and extortion of Sterling.
Stiviano claimed that she’d put money down toward the home but could not remember how much and did not produce any corroborating documents. A judge did not believe Viviano and ordered her to give everything back to the Sterling family in a 2015 judgment and ruled that Sterling was incapable of handling his business affairs.
The Daily Mail captured photos of Stiviano moving out of the home Sterling gifted her. By that point, the relationship between Viviano and Sterling was over and he testified that she was a “former friend,” despite audio recordings revealing that he said he’d loved her and the two had a sexual relationship.
Where is V. Stiviano today?
Stiviano slowly drifted out of the spotlight following the scandal and lawsuit. She countersued Shelly by claiming Sterling hired her to be his beard to cover up his LGBT+ status and the gifts were a result of their arrangement, but the lawsuit went nowhere.
CBS reported in 2014 that Stiviano was in the process of becoming a foster mother of two teenage boys. It’s unclear whether or not she completed the process, as her Instagram account does not currently include any photos of her with children.
According to her Instagram bio, she runs her own charitable foundation now, but the web link is currently inactive. She maintains her Instagram profile and keeps her followers up to date with her travels. It appears that she continues to attend Clippers games. There are also several photos of people with hats with her name on them, leading many of her followers to believe that she has her own clothing or hat brand.
The Sterlings are still married.