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Judge rules that V. Stiviano must return $2.6 million in gifts to Shelly Sterling
0:45 | NBA
Judge rules that V. Stiviano must return $2.6 million in gifts to Shelly Sterling
Wednesday April 15th, 2015

A Los Angeles judge ruled that Rochelle Sterling, the wife of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, is owed $2.6 million by a woman who received gifts from Sterling's estranged husband.

Among the items Shelly Sterling claimed her husband gave V. Stiviano were a Ferrari, a Range Rover, a Bentley and a $1.8 million home that Sterling claimed was community property from nearly 60 years of marriage.

[daily_cut.nba]

Those items must turned over to the Sterling family trust and the ruling will become final in 15 days if there are no objections.

Stiviano had claimed that the gifts were given to her when the Sterlings were separated, but Shelly Sterling said that the couple is not separated, just estranged.

“Their marriage had difficulties,” wrote L.A. Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin Jr. in his decision, according to the Los Angeles TImes. “However, the parties continued to live together, to travel together, to hold parties together and to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together.”

Donald Sterling, 80, was forced to sell the Clippers after TMZ.com posted a recording of Sterling chiding Stiviano for being seen with African Americans in public and warning Stiviano not to bring them to Clippers games.

In the aftermath of that recorded call, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned Sterling for life, forcing him to sell the franchise he had owned for three decades. 

Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer ended up buying the team for $2 billion.

Donald Sterling is currently suing the NBA, accusing Shelly Sterling and the league of conspiring together to force him to sell the Clippers.

He expanded the lawsuit last month to include his wife, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, former commissioner David Stern and two doctors who said he was mentally incapable of continuing as an owner of the Clippers and maintaining his family trust.

- Scooby Axson

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