V. Stiviano: Who Is The Woman At The Center Of The L.A. Clippers Scandal? (And What's With That Visor?)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was issued a lifetime ban and fined $2.5 million by the National Basketball Association after a tape recording of a conversation between him and girlfriend V. Stiviano was leaked to TMZ last week.
Sterling can be heard making racist comments to his former mistress, telling her not to bring black people to his team's games after she posted a selfie with Magic Johnson.
Stiviano, 31, was born Maria Vanessa Perez but changed her name to V. Stiviano in 2010. According to Fox news, her reason for the name change: "Born from a rape case and having yet been fully accepted because of my race."
Stiviano is of African-American and Mexican descent, and it's been speculated that she leaked the incriminating tapes to TMZ herself as revenge against Sterling's estranged wife Shelly, who filed a suit against Stiviano in March seeking to get back over $2.5 million worth of gifts -- including a $1.8 million condo -- her husband gave V.
Mac Nehoray, Stiviano's lawyer, said that she had nothing to do with the leak, but she did make copies of the tape and gave them to friends for safe keeping, and thus has "an idea" of who might have leaked it.
"My client is devastated that this got out," he told the L.A. Times. "Someone released it for money."
Stiviano, naturally, has been chased by the paparazzi since everything went down, and she's been spotted wearing a mirrored visor over her face everywhere she goes to avoid the press.She's even posted a sign on her front door, reading, "Please contact Nehoray Legal Group (818) 222-2227. I have no comment."
Tuesday evening she did have a comment though, tellign the press outsider her home, "One day, I will become president of the United States of America and I will change the legislation and laws. Modern day history. Civil rights movement."
Despite her denials, Stiviano appears to have leaked the audio herself, judging from the captions on several of her Instagram posts that were published weeks before the scandal broke.
The captions included, "ITS ALL COMING OUT!" and "'SKELETONS IN YOUR CLOSET' 2 of 3 WILL END UP REALLY HURT..... 1. I don't want to see it. 2. I don't want to hear it. 3. I don't want to talk about it."
She also wrote, "ONCE THE BEAR IS UNLEASHED, THERE'S NO STOPPING HER... MAKING MODERN-DAY HISTORY" and "IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOUR BROWN OR WHITE, AS LONG AS; YOUR NOT BLACK..," which obviously mocked Sterling's comments. That post was made three weeks ago.
She's also indluded the hash tags of every major newspaper, news outlet and publishing house in her posts, obviously wanting them to see them.
On a lighter note, The Today Show's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb discussed Stiviano's "ridiculous, ridiculous" mirrored visor in a column for the New York Daily News.
"I think that’s called shame," Gifford said.
"I don’t think it is," Kotb replied. "I don’t think it’s shame at all."
"Then what is it?" Gifford replied.
"It’s a bad fashion choice."
Stiviano and Sterling reportedly met at the 2010 Super Bowl.