LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Donald Sterling, the embattled former owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, filed for divorce from his wife Wednesday after a yearlong feud that ultimately saw him sell the team.
Sterling, 81, submitted the court documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for his split with Shelly Sterling. The couple have been married for six decades.
Sterling attracted significant media attention last year when a female friend recorded him making racially insensitive remarks and then released it to the media. The audio recording ultimately forced Sterling to sell the Clippers, which he had owned for 33 years since the team moved from San Diego.
After the remarks became public, the NBA banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million. Unable to conduct team business due to the ban, Shelly Sterling then negotiated a deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Sterling purchased the team for $12 million in 1981.
Donald Sterling has filed a lawsuit against the NBA and his wife over the sale of the team. The documents accuse Shelly Sterling of withholding her husband’s portion of the sale. But his half is being held by the NBA, in escrow, pending the outcome of his lawsuit against the league.
“It is truly an unfortunate situation, however, my client could no longer stand by while his rights are trampled,” Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini, said of the divorce filing.
The divorce documents were initially rejected by LA Superior Court, a spokeswomantold the Los Angeles Times, because they were incomplete.
The couple would have observed their 60th wedding anniversary later this month,KABC-TV reported.
KABC’s report said Shelly Sterling has not commented on the divorce.