*V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling racism controversy is speaking out in an exclusive interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters. The Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s confidante Walters that she thinks he should apologize for his racist remarks.
“Yes. Absolutely,” Stiviano, 31, said when Walters asked her during an exclusive television interview in Los Angeles.
“I think he’s highly more traumatized and hurt by the things that he said himself,” she added. “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.”
When asked if she thought Sterling will make a public apology, Stiviano replied, “God only knows.”
In the interview with Walters, Stiviano is seen full-face, so to speak, sans her the visor thingy she been wearing when in public because it supposedly made it “easier to mask the pain.”
What people are still dying to know is how audio recordings of Sterling’s racist rant were released. Stiviano, who was on the receiving end of Sterling’s rant on the leaked tapes and describes herself as black and Mexican, told Walters she did record their conversations, and shared them with friends. Stiviano said a friend leaked the audio.
But, she said, this rant — in which Sterling told Stiviano not to “promote” her relationship with black people or “bring them to my games,” — “was not the first time” they had these conversations.
“There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one. This was one of very many,” she said. “Part of what the world heard was only 15 minutes. There’s a number of other hours that the world doesn’t know.”
Stiviano denied having a romantic relationship with Sterling, saying she is his personal assistant and sees Sterling as “a father figure” — calling herself his “silly rabbit.” She claims that people around Sterling would say negative things about her to him, saying they “poison his mind and heart about things about me,” which would drive him to say certain things.
Despite the controversy around his comments, she said he is not a racist.
“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,” Stiviano said. “But through his actions he’s shown that he’s not a racist. He’s shown to be a very generous and kind man.”
(Photo: Screenshot/ABC News)