The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 5, 2014

We knowthis story well

Race is, hands down, the most repulsive aspect of the Donald Sterling scandal. But sex is a close second. To listen to the taped conversation between the octogenarian owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and the 30-something V. Stiviano is to glimpse the tawdry and inherently unequal arrangement between — well, let’s put it primly, benefactor and recipient.

The Sterling-Stiviano deal appears to involve a transaction as old as time. We’ve seen it before, yet we rarely see inside it, in such unvarnished, ugly form.

Just look at the photos of the pair, courtside, and you know what’s up. Sterling, puffy-faced and unattractive; old enough to be Stiviano’s grandfather, no less her father; but powerful and, perhaps more relevant, fabulously rich.

Stiviano, striking in a Cosmo girl way, with a Mexican/African-American background that makes Sterling’s reported aversion to having her associate with — or, more precisely, appear on social media to associate with — African-Americans all the more bizarre.

They met, according to a lawsuit filed against Stiviano by Rochelle Sterling, Sterling’s wife of more than 50 years, at the 2010 Super Bowl. Donald Sterling allegedly proceeded to shower Stiviano with luxuries: a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys, a 2013 Range Rover, a $1.8 million home, and $240,000 in living expenses.

All, Rochelle Sterling alleges, paid for out of community property funds, which she would like back, thank you very much.

Interestingly, this wasn’t the Sterlings’ first foray into return-to-giver litigation. A decade earlier, Donald Sterling sued another former mistress for return of property.

“It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex,” Sterling recounted in a deposition. “I wasn’t giving her money without performing something for me. And if it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t give her anything.”

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