V. Stiviano and her Instagram page was the topic of much conversation on April 26, hours after TMZ broke the news containing an explosive conversation between her and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Since Friday night, when TMZ posted what it said were the recordings between Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano, she has emerged as a central figure in the scandal, which has generated widespread condemnation and has prompted the NBA to launch an investigation.
On the audiotape, V. Stiviano, 31, appears to spar with the man said to be Donald Sterling, pointing out that she herself is black and Mexican. At other times, she is conciliatory, apologizing and tenderly offering him a sip of juice.
TMZ has described V. Stiviano as being a model “who loves posting hot bikini pics of herself”. She also loved posting pics at Clippers games.
It is not the first time that Donald Sterling has been at the center of a controversy. His estranged wife, Rochelle Sterling, previously filed a lawsuit against V. Stiviano, who is also known as Vanessa Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez, alleging that Stiviano reportedly met Donald Sterling in February 2010 and began an adulterous affair with the Clippers owner.
V. Stiviano was sued last month by Rochelle Sterling, who seeks the return of the duplex as well as a Ferrari, two Bentleys and a Range Rover she said her husband bought for Stiviano.
Rochelle Sterling alleges in the lawsuit that her husband Donald Sterling met V. Stiviano at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami. The suit describes V. Stiviano as a seductress who targets wealthy older men like the 80-year-old Donald Sterling.
According to property records, V. Stiviano purchased the duplex in December 2013. But Rochelle Sterling says that she allowed her husband to pay for the house, believing that her name would be on the deed along with his.
Donald Sterling also gave V. Stiviano $240,000 for living expenses, according to Rochelle Sterling’s lawsuit, amounting to $2 million of community property that he allegedly spent on Stiviano without his wife’s knowledge.
In a response to the lawsuit, V. Stiviano argues that Rochelle Sterling must have known that her husband of more than 50 years had romantic relationships outside of his marriage.
V. Stiviano’s court filing ridicules the notion that the “feminine wiles of Ms. Stiviano overpowered the iron will of Donald T. Sterling who is well known as one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world”. V. Stiviano’s papers, however, do not acknowledge that she was in a romantic relationship with Sterling.
Her attorney, Mac Nehoray, said Sunday the tape is authentic but that his client did not release it to TMZ.
“Neither Ms. Stiviano, nor this office has ever alleged that Ms. Stiviano is, or ever was, Mr. Sterling’s girlfriend,” Mac Nehoray said in a statement Sunday night.
Mac Nehoray wrote in court papers that his client was “a veritable fixture” at Donald Sterling’s business offices. A Clippers spokesman said V. Stiviano does not work for the team, though he said it is possible she is employed by one of Donald Sterling’s other business ventures.
An advertisement for a 2011 charity luncheon lists V. Stiviano as a director of the Donald Tokowitz Sterling Charitable Foundation, with Sterling as chairman.
In 2010, V. Stiviano legally changed her name to “V. Stiviano” from Maria Vanessa Perez. Her stated reason in a court petition: She had not “yet been fully accepted because of my race.”
Since then, she has created hats and shirts emblazoned with “V. Stiviano.” Her Instagram is dotted with photos of people posing in the “V. Stiviano” gear.
Mac Nehoray said in a statement that the tape is part of an hour-long conversation between V. Stiviano and Donald Sterling.
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