DOCUMENT: Crime

NBA Owner In Sex Scandal

Los Angeles Clippers boss admitted he paid to play

Donald Sterling

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NBA Owner In Sex Scandal

AUGUST 12--Just what the NBA needs, another sex scandal: Donald Sterling, the miserly tycoon who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, testified last year that he regularly paid a Beverly Hills woman for sex, describing her as a $500-a-trick "freak" with whom he coupled "all over my building, in my bathroom, upstairs, in the corner, in the elevator."

Sterling's graphic testimony--which came during a two-day pretrial deposition in connection with a lawsuit he filed against the woman, Alexandra Castro--will surely nettle basketball commissioner David Stern, who normally has to explain away the behavior of 20-something athletes, not married 70-year-old club owners worth nearly a billion.

During a sworn January 2003 deposition, Sterling denied having a relationship with Castro, though he changed his testimony when questioned again last August. In often explicit detail, Sterling recounted three years of transactions with Castro, whom he met in mid-1999 (you'll find excerpts from Sterling's deposition here).

While acknowledging that, "maybe I morally did something wrong," the Clippers owner was not shy when it came to describing hour-long sessions with Castro, whom Sterling credited with "sucking me all night long" and whose "best sex was better than words could express."

Testifying that he was "quietly concealing it from the world," Sterling had a blunt appraisal of his "exciting" relationship with Castro: "It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex."

Sterling, a Los Angeles real estate mogul, bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million and the franchise--one of the most profitable in the NBA--is now worth more than $200 million. Since Sterling's purchase, the team has amassed the NBA's worst combined record and gained a reputation as a stingy operation that will trade an exceptional player before paying him a superstar's salary. (14 pages)