By now, you’ve probably heard all about L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, 80, and the audio of him allegedly making racist comments and condemning his so-called girlfriend, V. Stiviano, for posting pictures of herself with minorities and bringing them to his team’s games. While the younger woman admits to recording the conversation, her attorney maintains that she did not release the audio tape, which is allegedly only a 15-minute segment of an hour-long conversation.
Donald Sterling is a well-known figure in the NBA, but who is this younger woman at the center of the scandal? Little is known about V. Stiviano, who’s believed to be 31 (although some sources claim she’s even younger), or how she and Donald Sterling really met. But this whole story makes for a few good lessons for other sugar babies. Try and stay with us as we break it down for you.
Be aware of the whole situation and don’t be naïve about it.
Although they have been separated for years, Donald Sterling is still legally married to his estranged wife, Rochelle, something V. Stiviano likely knew before she got involved with the older man. In March 2014, Sterling’s wife filed a lawsuit against V. Stiviano, claiming that the younger woman was having a long-standing affair with her husband, and that she allegedly dupes rich older men, like Donald Sterling, into spending their money on her.
According to the legal documents, Mrs. Sterling claimed that her husband used their money to buy his sugar baby expensive gifts, including two Bentleys, a Ferrari, a Range Rover, a $1.8 million duplex, and hundreds of thousands in cash.
If you’re going to date or receive gifts from a rich older man who happens to have a wife, be aware of the implications. Although Donald Sterling and his wife have been separated, they’re still legally married, which means she still has rights over her share of his money. The lesson here is to always know what you’re getting into and who you’re going to have to go up against—which takes us into our next lesson.
Be clear about the nature of your relationship or agreement.
When the scandal first went public, V. Stiviano’s attorney said that she, nor her representation, has ever claimed that she “is, or ever was, Mr. Sterling’s girlfriend.” V. Stiviano called herself Donald Sterling’s “archivist,” which is why she was taping all of their conversations. The younger woman has also been listed as a director for his charitable foundation.
However, Donald Sterling’s wife clearly disagrees. In her court documents, she referred to his affair with V. Stiviano as being “neither [a] hidden, closeted, nor a clandestine ‘affair,’” and that it was “open, notorious, obvious and long standing.” In V. Stiviano’s own legal documents, she admits that Donald Sterling used her as a prop at games to show off his “sexual prowess.” And in the alleged audio recordings of V. Stiviano’s conversation with Donald Sterling, she says, “And you’re in love with me.” So, is she or is she not his sugar baby?
When entering a relationship with a sugar daddy, whether it’s casual or monogamous, it’s important to make your expectations known from the beginning. Both you and your sugar daddy need to be on the same page about what the nature of your relationship is going to be—and you would both abide by those agreed upon expectations in ideal circumstances. If not, you’ll end up with a messy situation like this scandal with Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano.
Set your own sugar daddy standards.
This goes back to the whole idea of knowing what you’re getting into. Every sugar baby should have her own standards of what she is and isn’t willing to accept in a relationship and in a partner. And it’s important that your sugar daddy is in accord with that personal moral code. Are you willing to date a man with a wife? Do you accept how he conducts himself and his business? Are you willing to play dirty to get what you want?
These are just a couple of the questions you should be asking yourself.
In order to find out who he really is, you need to do your research, and then use that information to decide if he’s someone you really want to associate with.
Back in 2003, Donald Sterling and his wife sued one of his former mistresses in an attempt to recover some property that he had given her. Sterling initially denied the affair, but later admitted to paying the prostitute in exchange for sex. In a sworn deposition, the billionaire revealed a glimpse of his character when he referred to the woman as a “piece of trash” who would harass him for sex, clarifying that the money he gave her was never a gift. “It wasn’t a gift. I wasn’t giving her money without her performing something for me. And if it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t give her anything.”
Then, in November 2009, Donald Sterling’s character was again questioned when he was ordered to pay $2.73 million in a settlement over allegations that he refused to rent his apartments to Hispanic or African-American tenants.
V. Stiviano more than likely knew exactly what type of man Donald Sterling was when she allegedly started dating him four years ago. Going back to this latest scandal with the audio recordings, some people are speculating that V. Stiviano set Donald Sterling up so that she could reap the benefits of exposing him. That has yet to be proven, but the point here is that she knew what she was getting into and she presumably decided that it was in line with her own moral compass. And that’s why this is all playing out the way it has.
UPDATE: It has since been proven that Donald Sterling was, in fact, the male voice on the leaked audio tapes, and as a result, he has been banned for life from the NBA. That means he can’t attend any games, be present in any Clippers facilities, or participate in any of the decision making for the team or the league. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, which will be donated to several anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts. NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, who handed down the strong rebuke, is still fighting to force Donald Sterling into selling the team, thereby removing him completely from the NBA.
What do you think: What’s your take on the whole Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano scandal?
Coscarelli, J., “Everything You Need to Know About V. Stiviano, the Woman Who Recorded Donald Sterling’s Racism,” New York Magazine web site, April 28, 2014; http://goo.gl/zktdWd.
“Highlights From Donald Sterling’s Dirty Deposition,” The Smoking Gun web site, April 28, 2014; http://goo.gl/u3UAyZ.
“V. Stiviano: I Was Sterling’s Sugar Baby For 4 Years,” TMZ web site, April 28, 2014; http://goo.gl/m9fxmm.
Photo Credits: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com (Donald Sterling), Instagram (V. Stiviano)