Sterling speaks and blames 'the girl,' asks to be forgiven

sterling-cooper.jpgClippers owner Donald Sterling sat for an interview with Anderson Cooper to be aired Monday evening on CNN. Sterling claims he was baited into saying those racist things by V. Stiviano, that he isn't a racist himself, and that this was his only mistake in 30 years of owning the team so the league should forgive. Oh, and he's sorry. From CNN:

"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that. ... I don't know why the girl had me say those things," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview set to air on Monday.

"You're saying you were set up?" Cooper asked.

"Well yes, I was baited," Sterling said. "I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people."

I'm not a racist," Sterling told Cooper. "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."

Sterling also managed to insult Magic Johnson again, telling Cooper that he had spoken to Johnson since the recordings came out in which Sterling told Stiviano not to bring Johnson or other blacks to Clippers game. Did Sterling apologize? Hard to say:

"If I said anything wrong, I'm sorry," Sterling said. "He's a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don't think so. But I'll say it, he's great. But I don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles."

Separately, Shelly Sterling told Barbara Walters on ABC that she suspects the "onset of dementia" is behind her husband's comments. She claims she never heard him say anything racist. Shelly Sterling said also she has repeatedly begun divorce proceedings but never followed through, and wants to remain half-owner of the Clippers, with someone professional taking over from her husband to oversee the team.

The NBA last week named former Citigroup chairman and Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons as interim CEO of the Clippers.

Meanwhile, the Clippers won 101-99 Sunday at Staples Center, tying their series with Oklahoma City at 2-2.

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