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The TV show “Scandal” may be over but, we have ourselves a real life scandal happening in real time, with a powerful man and alleged mistress to boot!

Remember that episode when everyone was trying to figure out who is Olivia Pope? Well, I’m wondering who is V. Stiviano, aka Maria Vanessa Perez, born in October 1982, and what was her purpose?

I have been struggling to get my mind around this Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano story. I knew that I wanted to write something from a woman’s perspective and my first response, like most, was to call her names and judge her, relegate her to nothing more than a mistress and gold-digger.

Now it seems Mr. Sterling is being properly penalized for all of his discretions. But curiously, it continues to come out that not only have people known all along about his racist and discriminatory ways over the years; but that these are people in powerful positions who actually could do something significant to deal with him. He was even sued and by all accounts very little was done to make him stop. So, I have to ask, why did it take a presumably measly gold-digging mistress to crumble his castle?

When we look throughout history, how many times has lust for a pretty young woman, if in fact that’s what V. Stiviano is, to bring a man of power down? We can review the recorded list, but that would take too long.

Is it in fact as trite as New Edition says: Never trust a big butt and a smile? Or, was Stiviano a plant put in place to do exactly what she did? She used his weaknesses against him.

Another thought is, what if she actually got tired? Even if she was in the “relationship” for the cars, houses, and money, how many times can any one person take being denigrated and misogynized; and hearing such evil and negativity being spewed about your race and people of color? Perhaps she grew a conscience. Maybe she finally had enough, beyond the cars and purses; that maybe it wasn’t worth what little dignity she has left, and as a result, used her power and position of being close to him to have the last say, a say that paid off in a way that his luxurious gifts never could.

In every situation personally, professionally and even within pop culture, I am always looking for the lesson. The lesson that helps whatever we go through to make sense, the one that helps us to look at the big picture, learn from it and grow from it.

Since, this Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano situation is still being revealed in real time, the lessons will also continue to be revealed as well. But here are a few learning nuggets and reminders that I have so far:

• Be careful about who you allow to get close to you. The more access you give the wrong people, the more they can bring you down. Everything that glitters ain’t gold.

• Don’t let lust influence your life decisions.

• Never underestimate a woman.

• Never underestimate someone’s intelligence. That will only make you the fool in the long run.

• If you put people down long enough, eventually the iron fist you rule with will turn against you. Karma is still a female dog! Mistresses, you need to keep that one in mind too!

These are my observations from this situation so far. What are yours?

Deya “Direct” Smith is the Go-to-Girlfriend, Lifestyle & Love Coach, Media Maven, Author & Inspirational Speaker. She is also lead producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM & Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews. This best-selling author of “Touch Yourself, 30 Ways to Live, Love and Let Go!” ( can be found on & on Twitter & Instagram @Deyadirect.

Twitter Reacts to Donald Sterling’s NBA Ban
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