The woman who secretly recorded Donald Sterling’s racist rant that ended up getting him banned for life from the NBA says the Clippers owner is not a racist and wants him to apologize.
V. Stiviano was interviewed by Barbara Walters in an exclusive that was televised Friday night on ABC.
"I think he's highly more traumatized and hurt by the things that he said himself," she added. "I think he can’t even believe or understand sometimes the thing he says, and I think he's hurt by it. He's hurting right now."
Stiviano, who identifies herself as being both black and Mexican, has been avoiding the media since the recordings were made public last week.
V. Stiviano wore a visor to hide her face while being swarmed by the media.REUTERS
On the tapes, Sterling can be heard making comments disapproving of Stiviano’s relationships with black people and telling her not to bring “them’’ to any Clippers games.
Stiviano told Walters that she and Sterling had discussed similar race issues before. She also admitted to personally recording the audio but said that one of her friends leaked it to the media.
"There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one. This was one of very many," she said. "Part of what the world heard was only 15 minutes. There's a number of other hours that the world doesn't know."
Stiviano maintained that Sterling, who told her “it bothers me a lot that you want to promo broadcast that you’re associating with black people,’’ is not a racist.
She defended Sterling’s words by saying that he is “from a different generation.’’
Stiviano also refuted claims that she is romantically involved with Sterling.
Stiviano denied having a romantic relationship with Sterling, saying she is his personal assistant and sees Sterling as "a father figure" -- calling herself his "silly rabbit." She claims that people around Sterling would say negative things about her to him, saying they "poison his mind and heart about things about me," which would drive him to say certain things.
A portion of the interview can be seen in the above video.