V. Stiviano, the alleged girlfriend of controversial Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, is the defendant in a lawsuit brought against her by Sterling’s wife that describes Stiviano as a “gold digger” who embezzled nearly $2 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The lawsuit was filed last month by Rochelle Sterling, Donald Sterling’s estranged wife. It claims that Stiviano accepted gifts from Donald Sterling purchased with money jointly held by the Clippers owner and Rochelle Sterling without the wife’s knowledge. Rochelle Sterling maintains that Stiviano persuaded her husband to lavish her with expensive gifts, including a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover totaling more than $500,000.
Donald Sterling reportedly bought Stiviano a $1.8 million duplex in Los Angeles and forked over $240,000 in living expenses and upkeep. Stiviano holds the title for the property and has refused to surrender it, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The lawsuit also states that Stiviano has several aliases and has previously gone by the names Vanessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez.
Stiviano’s attorney argues that she never committed fraud or that she influenced Donald Sterling into giving her gifts.
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Stiviano was thrust into the media spotlight on Saturday after a tape of her troubling phone conversation with Donald Sterling regarding Stiviano “associating” with black people went public. In the recording, a voice that is supposedly Sterling's can be heard telling a woman believed to be Stiviano not to post pictures of herself with black people on Instagram or bring black people to any Clippers basketball games.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” the man in the recording states. “I’m just saying, in your … Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.”
The audio was obtained and published by TMZ on Friday.
At one point in the taped conversation, Stiviano, who describes herself as being of mixed black and Mexican descent, even apologizes to Sterling for the color of her skin.
While the remarks have yet to be officially attributed to Sterling, Stiviano maintains that the male’s voice is indeed the Clippers owner. The comments were immediately met with backlash from both the public and the NBA.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass described the remarks as “disturbing and offensive.” On Sunday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, said it would not award Sterling a Lifetime Achievement Award, which it had planned to do next month.