Donald Sterling Remains in Seclusion After NBA Lifetime Ban

Since the scandal over racist comments broke last week, Sterling has been glimpsed only briefly leaving a restaurant Sunday night and since then has resurfaced only in the comments by multitudes of others

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Donald Sterling and his lawyers have kept a noticeably low profile since audio tapes containing racist remarks allegedly made by the Clippers owner surfaced over the weekend. Patrick Healy reports from Beverly Hills for the NBC4 News at 5 on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

    Clippers owner Donald Sterling has yet to emerge from seclusion since the announcement of his lifetime ban from the team and the NBA.

    Since the scandal over racist comments broke last week, Sterling has been glimpsed only briefly leaving a restaurant Sunday night.  He is the subject of the most severe sanction in league history after an NBA investigation determined he was the one making derogatory remarks in an audio recordings published on two websites.

    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban on involvement with the NBA and slapped the billionaire with a $2.5 million fine during a Tuesday press conference. He said the league plans to "force a sale" of the team -- a process that he said will start immediately.

    The NBA's investigation included an interview with Sterling, during which it was determined that the voice on the recording is that of the 80-year-old Clippers owner, Silver said. Asked whether Sterling had expressed remorse, Silver said, “Mr. Sterling has not expressed those views directly to me.”

    Sterling has not offered a response or made any public appearances since the announcement.

    A brief statement issued by the Clippers made no effort to defend him: "We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins."

    The Clippers statement offered no details how the healing process would work or what role Sterling would play in it.

    Sterling's whereabouts remain unknown.

    As is customary, the front door of his home base Sterling Plaza building in Beverly Hills remained locked. Signage out front announces four Sterling enterprises: his law office, Sterling Properties, the Clippers, and the Sterling Foundation. Looking through the glass doors during the afternoon revealed two security guards. Neither would open the door and no one responded to the building's intercom system.

    For legal advice, Sterling has long relied on Robert Platt, a partner in the prominent Manatt Phelps law firm. Responding to a phone call, Platt's assistant said he was out of the office.

    The scandal emerged from recordings of statements made by a man confirmed by the NBA to be Sterling to a woman who has been reported to be his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano.

    Stiviano had been sued by Sterling's wife Rochelle in an attempt to recover a Ferrari, a duplex, and other gifts Sterling allegedly lavished on Stiviano.

    During the recordings now made public, Sterling chides Stiviano for posting an Instagram photo of herself with Magic Johnson, and goes on to tell her she should not associate in public with members of minority groups.

    Stiviano's attorney says his client was not responsible for releasing the tape, which he said were recorded legally in the presence of a "third party." He denied reports that his client was the billionaire's mistress, saying she was acting as his archivist. The attorney said in a statement released Tuesday that Stiviano is "very saddened" by the ban and "didn’t want any harm to come to Donald."


    A call for comment to Rochelle Sterling's attorney, Laura Wasser, also went unreturned.