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September 23, 2014

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Stiviano lawyer says she’s sad over Sterling ban

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Danny Moloshok / AP

In this Dec. 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V. Stiviano, left, watch the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — V. Stiviano, the woman whom Donald Sterling was talking to when he made racist remarks, is "very saddened" by his lifetime NBA ban, and she didn't release the recording of their conversation, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Stiviano "never wanted any harm to Donald," Siamak Nehoray of Calabasas told the Los Angeles Times.

Somebody released it "for money," but it wasn't Stiviano, the attorney said.

"My client is devastated that this got out," he said.

Nehoray previously said the recording posted online is a snippet of a conversation lasting roughly an hour.

In the recording, the Los Angeles Clippers owner apparently is upset with Stiviano for posting photos online of herself with Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" Sterling asks.

The Johnson photo has since been deleted from Stiviano's Instagram account.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver condemned the remarks. He banned Sterling for life from any association with the league or his team, and Silver fined him $2.5 million.

Stiviano has been described as Sterling's girlfriend.

In March, Sterling's wife, Rochelle, sued Stiviano, seeking the return of more than $2.5 million in lavish gifts the woman allegedly received from her husband, including luxury cars and a $1.8 million duplex.

The lawsuit claims Stiviano, 31, met Sterling, 80, at the 2010 Super Bowl.

It accuses Stiviano of engaging "in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce, and then entice, cajole, borrow from, cheat and/or receive as gifts transfers of wealth from wealthy older men whom she targets for such purpose."

Stiviano's attorney has filed documents to dismiss many of the accusations and denies that she took advantage of Sterling, describing him as having an "iron will" and being one of the world's shrewdest businessmen.

Nehoray told the Times that Stiviano and Sterling didn't have a romantic relationship.

"It's nothing like it's been portrayed," the lawyer said. "She's not the type of person everyone says."

She was a hard-working waitress and did volunteer work helping crime victims before becoming an "archivist" for Sterling, he said.

"She had no association with any rich people before this," he said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Stiviano was a volunteer with its Victim-Witness Assistance Program in 2010 and 2011, the Times said.

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