In a trial where Shelly Sterling is trying to show her husband Donald should not be reinstated as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust — which happens to own the Los Angeles Clippers — showing big mood swings and questionable judgement from him helps her case.
So that exactly what she did on Thursday in her second day of testimony in Probate court, reports the Los Angeles Times.
On the witness stand Shelly Sterling described her efforts to sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, saying that Donald had been kept up to speed on the process all along.
He was “happy and proud” that his wife secured the offer before a June 3 meeting of the NBA’s owners because he was worried the owners would vote to seize the team, she said.
“Every day we talked about what I was doing. … He was on the same page I was,” she said.
That all changed the next day, when it came time to finalize the sale’s details.
“He started screaming and cursing. He was uncontrollable,” she said.
Donald Sterling wants to block the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer — something his wife set up and the NBA has supported — and he has sued the NBA on anti-trust grounds in a separate legal proceeding. His best chance to block the sale is to win this probate hearing and have the judge say the steps Shelly Sterling, her lawyers and the doctors went through in to have him declared mentally incapacitated did not meet with the guidelines of the Trust.
Donald Sterling, as is his nature, wants to bully and fight anyone in his way of getting what he wants. Shelly Sterling tried to say that is a part of his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and she talked about that on the stand again Thursday.
She also said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had been willing to negotiate a reduction of her husband’s lifetime ban from the NBA to one or two years of probation. But the talks fell apart when Donald refused put the terms in writing and threatened to sue the owners.
“Do you think the other owners were happy when he called them monsters and was going to find dirt on them?” she said.
Donald Sterling was so frustrated with Shelly after her testimony on Wednesday he called her a “pig” in front of the judge and courtroom.
It’s going to be a while before we have any resolution here. While testimony in the case closed on Thursday closing arguments are not until July 28. The NBA will not formalize the sale of the team until the results of this court case.