(LOS ANGELES) — The National Basketball Association has accused suspended Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, his wife and the team president of conspiring to get assistant V. Stiviano to change her story about a recording in which Sterling disparaged African-Americans.
That tape, posted on TMZ last month, has led to Sterling’s suspension, a $2.5 million fine, and his possible loss of ownership of the Clippers.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Stiviano told Chief NBA Investigator David Anders on May 2 that Sterling asked her to say that the voice on the recording wasn’t his and that she had altered the tape.
Furthermore, Stiviano alleged that Sterling asked that she settle a lawsuit filed against her by wife Shelley Sterling and that he would later reimburse her.
Meanwhile, the NBA also says that an unnamed employee of the Clippers played a copy of the recording for team President Andy Roeser two weeks before it went public. After Roeser told Sterling about it, the league said Sterling ordered the team president to have the recording deleted from a phone along with all related text messages that came from Stiviano.
The NBA further alleges that a day before TMZ posted the recording, Sterling, Roeser and Shelley Sterling worked out a statement that said in part ““We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or if it has been altered.”
Attorney Max Blecher, who is representing Donald Sterling, had no immediate comment about the latest allegations.
Sterling has until May 27 to respond to the NBA’s charges with a hearing and vote by 29 owners to decide on Sterling’s future set for June 3.
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