Ex-Clippers owner Sterling drops lawsuit against Stiviano

LOS ANGELES (AP) A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday dismissed Donald Sterling's lawsuit against a former female friend over the recording of his off-color remarks that cost him ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sterling's lawsuit against V. Stiviano was dismissed at the billionaire's request, though it wasn't immediately clear why he decided to drop his claims.

In the lawsuit, filed in August, Sterling accused Stiviano and celebrity website TMZ of violating his privacy and causing damage on a ''scale of unparalleled and unprecedented magnitude.''

TMZ was previously dismissed from the lawsuit based on free speech.

Neither Sterling's nor Stiviano's attorneys immediately returned calls for comment Wednesday.

The dismissal ends one chapter in a legal soap opera that began in April 2014 after the recording drew harsh backlash when the real estate baron was heard whining to Stiviano that she shouldn't associate with black people.

The remarks led the NBA to ban Sterling from the league for life and ultimately led his estranged wife to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.

Shelly Sterling won court approval for the sale by showing her husband of six decades had dementia and couldn't handle his business affairs.

Donald Sterling, 81, also sued his wife, the league and two doctors who examined him, claiming in federal court that they conspired to remove him from the team. That case is ongoing.

Another court case filed by Shelly Sterling forced Stiviano to relinquish a $1.8 million home and $800,000 in cash, gifts, a Ferrari and other luxury cars Donald Sterling lavished on the younger woman. A judge ruled the items belonged to Shelly Sterling as community property.

The recordings of Donald Sterling surfaced just weeks after Shelly Sterling sued Stiviano, claiming she was her husband's mistress.

Stiviano has said Sterling consented to recordings she made on phones while they carried on a sexless relationship.

Donald Sterling, however, said in the lawsuit that the ''illicit'' recordings were secretly made and provided to TMZ by Stiviano ''and/or her agents.''

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Associated Press writer Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/amanda-lee-myers.

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