Shelly Sterling lawsuit against V. Stiviano will go forward
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that alleges a confidant of the real estate billionaire lured him into an affair and persuaded him to heap expensive gifts on her, court papers showed today.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin said Shelly Sterling’s attorneys provided enough information to move forward on all 10 causes of action in the case filed March 7.
The lawsuit describes Stiviano as a woman who “engages in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce and then … receives as gifts transfers of wealth from older men whom she targets for such purposes.”
Fruin said he would keep the case in his courtroom instead of asking the presiding judge to decide whether the lawsuit belonged in family law court.
The judge told defendant V. Stiviano to turn over to Shelly Sterling’s attorneys documents that could show Donald Sterling gave her cars and other valuables that were community property between the Sterlings.
Fruin issued tentative rulings Wednesday and finalized them later in the day when attorneys on both sides concurred with them. Because of the agreement, today’s scheduled hearing became moot and was canceled.
On July 8 in Fruin’s first tentative ruling, he told attorneys for Shelly Sterling and Stiviano to take the case to the Superior Court’s civil presiding judge for a decision on which court should hear the case, owing to potential community property issues.
But later that day, after hearing arguments, Fruin asked for arguments from both sides. In his final ruling Wednesday, he decided to handle the lawsuit himself.
Attorneys for Shelly Sterling and Stiviano said they preferred to have Fruin hear the case because they want a jury trial.
Stiviano has used the names Vanessa Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez, the suit states. She met Sterling at the February 2010 Super Bowl and began a sexual relationship with him that year, the suit states.
The lawsuit seeks all the return of all cash, real estate, cars or other belongings considered community property.
In interviews following the release of the Donald Sterling recordings — which earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA and led to a dispute over the proposed $2 billion sale of the Clippers — Stiviano denied having a sexual relationship with Sterling. Sterling, however, has described his comments on the tapes as being the result of a heated exchange during a “lovers’ quarrel.”