In an interview with Barbara Walters on ’20/20′ V. Stiviano spoke out about L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for the first time since the scandal erupted in which his racist remarks to her in a private conversation to her were made public, resulting in his being banned for life from the NBA.
The firestorm began when TMZ and Deadspin released audio of Donald Sterling making racist comments in an argument with V. Stiviano over an Instagram picture she had posted of herself and Magic Johnson. The days following saw the story grow and dominate social media and the airways and culminate with the NBA commissioner Adam Silver holding a press conference and announcing the NBA’s decision to ban Silver for life from the NBA and to fine him $2.5 million and urged NBA owners to force him to sell HIS team
While V. Stiviano had been seen in public wearing some face-covering visors, her interview with Barbara Walters marked her first extended remarks.
Walters asked about the relationship she, as a woman in her early 30s — she interjected, acknowledging that she is 31 years old — has with a man in his 80s. It has been presumed that she is his girlfriend. However, she denied that she was a “mistress or a whore or a woman of the night.” She went on to call herself his “personal assistant.” When asked how she was compensated she said that some of it was “off the books.”
Asked if she were in love with him, V. Stiviano said, ““I love him like a father figure.” She went on to say, “I’m Mr. Sterling’s right hand arm man. I’m Mr. Sterling’s everything. I’m his confidant, his best friend, his silly rabbit.”
Asked if she thought he was a racist, she said, “I don’t believe in my heart.” She revealed how dismissive she was of his remarks by saying, “I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than I am. I think he was brought up to believe these things … segregation, whites and blacks. But through his actions he’s shown that he’s not a racist. He’s shown to be a very generous and kind man.”
When Barbara Walters asked her if she thought Donald Sterling should apologize for the remarks she said, “absolutely,” and acknowledged that she had discussed it with him. Asked if he would apologize, she said, “Only God knows.”
V. Stiviano also weighed in her what she believed to be Donald Sterling’s state of mind in the aftermath of the publicity, the uproar and being banned for life from the NBA.
Again, defending him, she said, “I think he’s highly more traumatized and hurt by the things that he said himself. I think he can’t even believe or understand sometimes the thing he says, and I think he’s hurt by it. He’s hurting right now.”
The full video is below.