Sterling finally sorry for ‘mistake’

Written By Unknown on Senin, 12 Mei 2014 | 23.40

One mistake ... Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he was baited to make racist comments. Source: Mark J. Terrill / AP

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, desperate to cling to his team, has finally apologised for racist comments he made to his girlfriend, saying he made "a terrible mistake."

"If I said anything wrong, I'm sorry,'' Sterling told CNN's Anderson Coope. "I'm a good [NBA] member who made a mistake, and I'm apologising and I'm asking for forgiveness.

"Am I entitled to one mistake, am I, after 35 years?'' Sterling, 80, asked said during the interview at his Beverly Hills home — his first since the scandal broke.

"I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It's a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again.

"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that ... I don't know why the girl had me say those things," insisted the billionaire real-estate investor, who was caught on tape telling his then-gal pal, V. Stiviano, not to bring black people — including hoops great Magic Johnson — to Clippers games.

Hasn't done enough ... Donald Sterling says Earvin "Magic" Johnson, pictured with wife, Cookie, says the NBA legend hasn't done enough to help minorities. Source: Getty Images

Cooper then pressed Sterling: "You're saying you were set up?"

"Well, yes, I was baited," Sterling said. "I mean, that's not the way I talk ... I don't talk about people."

He said he didn't know who leaked the tape.

"I thought she liked me and really cared for me. I guess being 51 years older than her, I was deluding myself," he said.

"I just wish I could ask her why — and if she was just setting me up.

"I'm not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologise and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt."

Despite his alleged contrition, Sterling still blasted Johnson as a bad role model for kids.

"He's a good person. I mean, what am I going to say?'' Stirling told Cooper, before adding, "Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don't think so. But I'll say it, he's great.

But I don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles."

In a separate interview, Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly, told ABC's Barbara Walters that she believes her husband suffers from the "onset of dementia."

Dementia ... Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling, right, sits with his wife Rochelle, who says her husband has early onset dementia. Source: AP

She said he told her after the tape surfaced, "I don't remember saying that. I don't remember ever saying those things.

"I said, 'Well, this is the tape,' " Shelly Sterling said.

"And he says, 'Hmm. I don't remember it.' That's when I thought he had dementia.

"I don't love him. I pity him and I feel sorry for him," she said.

Shelly Sterling said she backs NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's push to force her husband to sell the team — but insists that she should have the right to buy it.

"I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were," she said.

Last week, a new tape surfaced in which Sterling told a pal that he made the racist comments because he was trying to get Stiviano into bed.

"I'm talking to a girl. I'm trying to have sex with her," Sterling said in the recent conversation, a tape of which was obtained by Radar Online.

"I'm trying to play with her. If you were trying to have sex with a girl and you're talking to her privately and you don't think anybody's there, you may say anything in the world!"

The NBA disagreed. It said in a statement that her interest in the team would be "terminated'' under the league's constitution if it forces her husband to sell.

Her lawyer, Pierce O'Donell, replied, "We do not agree with the league's self-serving interpretation of its constitution.''

And in any case, he added, "California law and the United States Constitution trump any such interpretation.''

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