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NBA: Sterling Tampered with Evidence, Tried to Convince Stiviano to Lie

On Monday, the National Basketball Association reputedly issued a 30-page document formally alleging, among other things, that Donald Sterling attempted to convince his mistress to claim that she lied about the bombshell recording of his racist rants.

The LA Times reports that on May 2, Sterling apparently met up with V. Stiviano, who is now calling herself an “assistant” to the Clippers owner, and tried to convince her to tell the NBA that she altered the recording, and that it definitely wasn’t his voice on the tape saying racist things. (As we all know, even Sterling eventually admitted that the voice was his.)

Even more bombshell-y: the NBA also accuses Sterling, his wife Shelly, and the Clippers management of lying in the first press statement regarding the recording, in which they claimed that they had no idea that the recording existed or if it was even real.

According to the Times, they totally did:

Team President [Andy] Roeser received a copy of the recording on April 9 from another employee of the team, who had gotten it from Stiviano, the charges allege. That was more than two weeks before the April 25 posting of the recording by the website TMZ.

After Roeser told Sterling about the recording, Roeser, on Sterling’s orders, told the unnamed employee to delete it from a phone, along with all related text messages, the NBA charges say.

“The employee at first questioned Mr. Roeser, asking him if he was sure that the employee should delete the files,” the declaration said. “Mr. Roeser said he was sure.”

The Sterling associate said the accusations about Clippers employees and the recording that came prior to the TMZ posting were of little import. At that point, the recording was merely a private conversation between two adults and had no material impact on the Clippers or the rest of the NBA, the Sterling ally said.

That’s only two out of six allegations against Sterling and his wife, which include claims that the couple lied to NBA investigators and that Shelly’s not legally distanced enough to retain her share of the Clippers. The full allegations, as well as their implications, can be found in the Times report. (The frantic PR spinning from Team Sterling can also be found in the Times report.)

[LA Times]
[Image via Danny Moloshok / Reuters]

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