Donald Sterling’s estranged wife wins back millions he lavished on ‘mistress’ – Washington Post

This post has been updated.

Remember Donald Sterling’s flamboyant ex-mistress V. Stiviano? Since last year’s Los Angeles Clippers debacle that disgraced his name and cost him the team, she has been living large on millions of dollars worth of gifts he gave her while he was separated from his wife.

Remember Sterling’s estranged wife Shelly? Tuesday she got even. A Los Angeles judge awarded Mrs. Sterling $2.6 million from Stiviano’s stash.

That would include the Ferrari, the two Bentleys, the Range Rover, the $1.8 million duplex and for good measure, the $4,570 Louis Vuitton suitcase, just to mention a few of the trinkets the 80-year-old billionaire gave to the thirty-something woman, who says it was “a relationship built on love,” rather than money.

In a long legal battle between the two women that ended Tuesday, Shelly Sterling argued that the money and gifts her husband generously lavished on Stiviano, weren’t his to lavish. It was joint property. In California, assets earned in marriage belong to both parties and cannot be given away without consent. Shelly Sterling most definitely did not consent.

“Shelly is thrilled with the decision,” her attorney Pierce O’Donnell told the Associated Press.

This dispute, by the way, began before Stiviano somehow leaked a recording between her and then-Clippers owner Sterling in which the world heard him tell her not to bring black people, especially Magic Johnson, to his games.

Clippers President Andy Roeser released a statement the next day, saying Stiviano, had vowed to “get even” with Sterling. Ultimately, Donald Sterling was ruled incompetent, banned from the NBA for life, fined $2.5 million and forced to watch his wife sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

But throughout their legal woes, Stiviano has bounced between apparent anger and professed affection for Sterling. Before she took the stand in court late last month, she took to Twitter.

Two weeks later, she wrote: “Donald T. Sterling I LOVE you.”

In court, attorneys played recordings on Stiviano’s cellphone that indicated the two were trying to hide the gifts from Shelly Sterling.

“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 clip played in court, according to the Associated Press.

Shelly Sterling said when she first inquired about the Ferrari, her husband, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year, told her he bought it so Stiviano would drive him around, Courthouse News Service reported. In court, he said he “deserved” to have it and that he put it under Stiviano’s name to keep himself out of trouble. “I didn’t want her to kill someone and I would be sued,” he said.

Donald Sterling also admitted he paid for the house, though Stiviano claimed she had contributed some savings, according to the AP. Sterling argued that his ex-girlfriend didn’t have “50 cents.”

“She has no money. We’re talking about someone who’s indigent, on relief,” he testified, according to Courthouse News Service. “Her whole family is indigent; all 30 of them are on state aid.”

Stiviano’s attorney argued that the disputed gifts were given to Stiviano when Donald and Shelly Sterling were apart and that the wife could not now seek to recover them from a third party, namely, Shelly, the AP reported. The judge, however, didn’t go for it.

Here is a sample of those gifts — some quite petty — via the Los Angeles Times:

•$1.8 million — Spanish-style duplex

•$1.2 million — cash (total)

•$400,000 — cars (Ferrari, two Bentleys and Range Rover)

•$200,000 — credit cards (total)

•$10,420 — two Chanel flapbags

•$5,333 — Cartier love bracelet

•$4,570 — Louis Vuitton suitcase

•$1,051 — Manolo Blahnik shoes

•$925 — dry cleaning

•$843 — skin treatment

•$695 — Chanel thong sandals

•$391 — Easter bunny costume

•$354 — birthday cake

•$299 — two-speed blender

•$140 — Kobe 8 System Nike basketball shoes

•$12 — lace thong

•$1 — donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital as part of a purchase at a CVS store.

For whatever it’s worth, Stivano said that her more than 2 1/2 year relationship with Donald Sterling wasn’t based on a romance or sex. She referred to him as a father figure — and a lover.

“I did not have a romantic relationship. We developed a relationship of love,” Stiviano said in court, Courthouse News Service reported. “He told me he loved me this Sunday when we last spoke.”