LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday ruled that the wife of the former Clippers owner is owed $2.6 million by a woman her husband showered with gifts.
Judge Richard Fruin Jr. awarded Shelly Sterling most of the nearly $3 million she had sought.
Sterling had claimed that money used to buy V. Stiviano a house, luxury cars and stocks was her community property.
Stiviano’s lawyer had argued the gifts were made when Donald and Shelly Sterling were separated and that Shelly Sterling couldn’t seek them from a third party.
The ruling comes nearly a year after Stiviano’s recording of Donald Sterling making racially offensive remarks bounced him from the NBA and cost him team ownership.
Shelly Sterling’s lawyers used other recordings to show he bought Stiviano a house, a Ferrari and other things.
In the recordings on Stiviano’s iPhone, she and the 80-year-old billionaire are heard discussing how to shield gifts from his wife.
“The truth is that everything that I have, you’ve given me from your heart without me begging or asking or throwing myself all over you,” Stiviano said in snippet played in court.
During the course of their 2 1/2 years together, Sterling gave her a Ferrari, a Bentley and a Range Rover, and paid the lion’s share of a $1.8 million duplex.
Sterling testified that he paid for the entire house, though Stiviano said she had contributed an unknown amount of money given to her in small bills by family members that she saved in a bedroom drawer.
Donald Sterling said Stiviano hadn’t contributed “50 cents” to the house and, noting that Stiviano is part black and Hispanic, said she illegally got her name inserted into escrow documents by befriending Hispanic bank and escrow employees.
Shelly Sterling filed the suit against Stiviano about a month before the recording of Donald Sterling telling Stiviano not to associate with black people created an uproar and led the NBA to ban him for life and fine him $2.5 million.
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