With his “gold-digger” ex-girlfriend holding another 100 hours of damning tape recordings, babbling bigot Donald Sterling is pleading for the mercy rule.
The 80-year-old Los Angeles Clippers owner has reached out to the attorney of his 31-year-old former mistress, V. Stiviano, begging, “How can we make this go away?” according to a report.
Sterling is scrambling to salvage his reputation and hang on to his team after 15 minutes of tape surfaced over the weekend of him going on a racist tirade about Stiviano publicly associating with African-American athletes.
He demanded she strip her Instagram account of photos of her posing with black athletes like Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Dodgers star Matt Kemp, and ordered her to “Don’t bring blacks to my games!”
At least a dozen corporate sponsors of the Clippers suspended their association with the team on Monday because of Sterling’s recorded rant.
The comments have sent shock waves through the NBA, and even Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Monday that he’s so angry he’s refusing to take Sterling’s calls.
“I’d just like to reiterate how disappointed I am…in the comments attributed to our owner, and I can’t tell you how upset I am, our players are,” Rivers told reporters in a conference call.
The real-estate tycoon’s fate could come as early as Tuesday, when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is under intense pressure to punish Sterling, is scheduled to hold a press conference.
A source said Sterling was spotted getting into a limo on Park Ave. and E. 53rd St. in Midtown Monday afternoon.
“I’m totally outraged that they are stalling on this,” the Rev. Al Sharpton told the Daily News Monday, referring to the fact that the NBA hasn’t slapped Sterling yet.
“If they say anything less than what they’re doing to get this bigot out, people should protest. People should not buy tickets,” said Sharpton, adding that his National Action Network’s Los Angeles office plans to hold a protest vigil in L.A. Tuesday night.
It remains to be seen if Sterling will show up for the Clippers’ home playoff game against the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Sources with knowledge of Sterling’s predicament, told TMZ.com he’s fearful Stiviano, who is of black and Mexican heritage, has even more “extremely damaging” tape recordings of him.
The sources told the gossip website that released nine minutes of devastating recordings on Saturday that Stiviano has at least 100 hours of recordings in her possession.
Stiviano — a model who goes by several aliases, including Vanessa Maria Perez and Monica Gallegos — refused to comment Monday.
Wearing what appeared to be a welder’s mask over her face and carrying a large briefcase, Stiviano ignored reporters outside her Los Angeles home as she got into a car and sped off.
But Sterling’s estranged wife, Rochelle, didn’t hold back. She publicly lambasted him.
“Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband,” Rochelle Sterling said in a statement Monday.
“My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices,” she said. “We will not let one man’s small-mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love. We are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our Clippers.”
The statement contrasted the ones she gave Sunday night defending him outside a downtown Los Angeles steakhouse.
As a TMZ cameraman tried to ask Donald Sterling if he’s a racist, Rochelle Sterling butted in and screamed, “Of course not!”
Asked if the allegations of racism are true, the wife said, “Oh forget it, it’s not true.”
A dozen top sponsors of the Clippers, and counting — including Kia, Mercedes-Benz USA, Red Bull, CarMax, Amtrak, Virgin America, State Farm and Sprint — did a fast break from the controversy by suspending their support for the team.
“The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are offensive and reprehensible and they are inconsistent with our views and values,” Kia, who has built an advertising campaign around Clippers star Blake Griffin, said in a statement.