Sterling: 'I'm Sorry and Asking for Forgiveness'

Image: Sterling: 'I'm Sorry and Asking for Forgiveness' Shelly and Donald Sterling at a Los Angeles Clippers game in April. (AP)

Monday, 12 May 2014 06:07 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he apologizes and asks for "forgiveness" for his racist remarks, caught on tape, that prompted the NBA to ban him for life and impose a $2.5 million fine.

"I'm not a racist," the 80-year-old Sterling tells CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview conducted Sunday and scheduled to air on the cable network's "AC360" at 8 p.m. ET Monday. It is the first time Sterling has spoken about the scandal.

"I'm a good member who made a mistake and I'm apologizing and I'm asking for forgiveness," he said, promising that "I'll never do it again."

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Sterling, an 80-year-old married lawyer and billionaire real-estate investor, hasn't spoken publicly about the accusations since celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a 10-minute audio recording of him criticizing a woman for posting photos online of herself posing with African-Americans.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Donald Sterling for his and urged owners to force Sterling to sell the team. Silver added that no decisions had been made about the rest of Sterling's family.

Meanwhile, in an interview with ABC, Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, said she would fight to keep her share of the Los Angeles Clippers and eventually would divorce her husband.

"I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were," Shelly Sterling said, according to a short story that ABC News posted Sunday with excerpts from her conversation with Barbara Walters.

Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, has said she will fight to retain her 50 percent ownership stake in the team.

Shelly Sterling also said that she "eventually" will divorce her husband, and that she hadn't yet done so due to financial considerations.

"For the last 20 years, I've been seeing attorneys for a divorce," she said. "In fact, I have here — I just filed — I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial adviser and my attorney said to me, 'Not now.'"

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