Earlier tonight, Anderson Cooper 360 finally aired the host’s exclusive interview with embattled and controversial Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that we’d seen several clips of today. To Sterling’s credit, he definitely seemed like a broken and saddened man in the wake of the backlash that he received from the now infamous recording made, but supposedly not leaked, by his mistress, V. Stiviano. “I never dreamt that this could happen,” Sterling cried to Cooper in the opening minutes. “It’s a terrible, terrible nightmare.” But as Cooper pressed on with his questions, Sterling got off track and said some additional things that won’t change many minds tonight or tomorrow.
For starters, Sterling claimed that he never knew that he was being recorded during his conversations with Stiviano, but he defended what he said about telling her not to bring black men to his team’s games because he was jealous. Sterling claimed that he was “a foolish 80-year old man” in thinking that Stiviano liked and cared for him, but he ultimately maintained that she set him up by baiting him with “her words,” referring to how she called the other men black, and that’s why he talked about her black friends.
Sterling changed the topic from Stiviano to himself, so he could offer apologies to all of the other 29 owners in the NBA, as well as to Silver, because Sterling said that he feels bad that he caused the commissioner to have to make the decision to force him to sell the Clippers. But Cooper’s line of questioning kept coming back to his comments and why he made them, and Sterling admitted that he just “can’t explain some of the stupid, uneducated” things that he said to that girl when she was recording him.
Check out the full interview below, and I’ll update with better quality video (or as the clips are removed) as it becomes available.
Again, Cooper pressed him on his specific comments to Stiviano and how they just don’t match with his defense that he was using the words that she used to him.
In this segment, Cooper asked Sterling how he feels about the decision to force him to sell. Sterling said that he doesn’t think the other owners will vote to force him, but he wouldn’t comment on future legal recourse.
Now here’s a particularly awful segment in which Sterling used Magic Johnson’s past with HIV to explain why he’s not the right person to be challenging Sterling. Johnson, Sterling claimed, does not support minorities the way that he does. Jews, he said, always give back when they become successful, but he openly asked what Johnson has done to help anyone.
Finally, Cooper asked if anyone recommended that he pay Stiviano off, but he claimed that she is a “good” and “beautiful” person who comes from a family of 15 kids, and she “supports them all.” “I was stupid,” he sobbed, “how could a person care for someone 51-years older?” Sterling concluded that Stiviano is essentially “irrelevant” in this conversation, although he thought she really cared for him.