The 81-year old Donald Sterling(once the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers) has now filed for divorce from and Shelly Sterling, his wife. A marriage that lasted for almost six decades is slated to be torn apart even as the couple battles over an issue that is far from a personal one.
“Irreconcilable differences” were the reason cited by Donald Sterling in the divorce papers that were submitted to the LA Superior Court. This information has been confirmed by Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini. The divorce proceedings would have commenced much sooner; however the court administration had found that the documents were incomplete, and had asked for certain rectification.
Court Approval Being Sought
Now, the revised papers indicate that the separation had actually taken place on 1 Aug 2012, but that the couple is now seeking formal approval from the court to break the marriage that lasted for almost 60 years. The main contention behind the divorce is the money his wife raked in when she sold-off the LA Clippers team to Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO.
In tandem with filing of the divorce papers, Donald Sterling’s lawyers filed a separate petition in the probate court for the accounting & distribution of assets with reference to the sale of this team. Sterling’s stand is that he has a legal right to 50% of the proceedings of the sale and claimed that they were “community property”. Apart fromnaming his wife in this petition, he has also named the NBA in this particular case.
The Twist in the Tale
What adds an interesting twistis that Shelly Sterling claims she never actually got the entire $2B. According to her version of the story, she collected only half the total amount and that $ 600M had to be forked-out in legal fees and taxes. The one billion that remains is in a “frozen” state and will be released only after Donald Sterling signs-off on the sale, of his own free will and drops the lawsuit.
And Then Some More…
Yahoo reported – What makes this lawsuit tricky is that when this deal was going down, the doctors had found that Donald Sterling wasn’t competent enough tohandle his own business affairs.
Despite all these marital problems, the couple had continued to live together since 2012; at one point of time, they had also attempted to convince thecourt that their love was “enduring” and strong- that of course seems to have suddenly evaporated into thin air at this juncture!