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Wait two weeks then blame the "girl" might have been a great PR strategy at some point in U.S. history, but it's probably not a good fit for the internet age. On Sunday night, CNN teased an interview with L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling in which he apologizes for his on-tape racist comments, but adds that he was "baited" into making them by girlfriend V. Stiviano.
"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that," Sterling told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I don't know why the girl had me say those things." He did explain that it took him this long to talk publicly about his comments because he was "emotionally distraught" and didn't know how to "correct" the problem he'd caused. And he made the obligatory "I'm not a racist" speech (verbatim). Here's the meat of his apology:
I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt.... Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years [with the NBA]?... It's a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again. [CNN]
Sterling also said he's talked twice with Magic Johnson, the topic of one of his recorded rants; he tells Cooper that Magic is "great," but then adds: "Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don't think so.... I don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles."
Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, also met the press on Sunday, telling ABC News' Barbara Walters that she wants to keep a large stake in the Clippers, regardless of whether her husband has to sell. She also implied she's still married to him for the money. Here's what Shelly Sterling told Walters, with a laugh:
For the last 20 years, I've been seeing attorneys for a divorce.... In fact, I have here — I just filed — I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial advisor and my attorney said to me, "Not now."... Eventually, I'm going to. [ABC News]