A judge Thursday dismissed the remaining civil allegations filed in a countersuit brought by Donald Sterling’s former courtside companion, who alleged she was defamed by various people within the Sterling family and their enterprises by being labeled a thief.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin ruled that V. Stiviano cannot pursue her claims against the Sterling family trust and L.A. Sports Properties Inc. Fruin said the trust was not capable of being sued and that an organization such as L.A,. Sports Properties cannot make defamatory statements. He also said that Stiviano was a “limited purpose” public figure and was required to show any statements made against her were done so maliciously.
Last month, Fruin dismissed the portion of the case against Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling.
“There was a total failure of proof,” Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said.
O’Donnell also represented the Sterling family trust and L.A. Sports Properties Inc., the successor entity to LAC Basketball Club Inc., which formerly owned the Clippers. The entities were named as defendants in the countersuit along with Shelly and Donald Sterling and former Clippers president Andy Roeser.
O’Donnell said the countersuit cited only vague allegations that his clients defamed Stiviano in the national media by calling her a thief and claiming she embezzled funds and other properties from Donald Sterling.
Donald Sterling previously was dropped as a defendant in the countersuit and Roeser was never served.
Shelly Sterling began the litigation by suing Stiviano on March 7, alleging Stiviano has used multiple names and that she met Donald Sterling at the February 2010 Super Bowl. Stiviano began a sexual relationship with Donald Sterling that year, the suit states.
Shelly Sterling’s lawsuit seeks all the return of all cash, real estate, cars or other belongings considered community property that Donald Sterling may have given Stiviano.
In interviews following the release of the Donald Sterling recordings — which earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA and led to a dispute over the $2 billion sale of the Clippers — Stiviano denied having a sexual relationship with Sterling. Sterling, however, described his comments on the tapes as being the result of a heated exchange during a “lovers’ quarrel.”
Trial of Shelly Sterling’s case is scheduled for March 9. She sold the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
— City News Service