V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal, has generated much curiosity by wearing a visor over her face when she goes out in public.
She said why in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.
"I'm hurting. I am in pain," she said. "It hurts. It's easier to mask the pain."
Stiviano said in the Friday interview that there are hours of additional recordings not yet made public of conversations between her and the Clippers owner.
Sterling was banned from the NBA this week over recordings in which a man, identified by the league as the Clippers owner, tells Stiviano not to be seen in public with black people.
When Walters asked Stiviano whether Sterling was a racist, she replied: "No, I don't believe it in my heart," according to "20/20."
"I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than I am," she said. "I think he was brought up to believe these things … segregation, whites and blacks. But through his actions he's shown that he's not a racist. He's shown to be a very generous and kind man."
Still, she said he should apologize for what he said, "20/20" tweeted.
Walters said Stiviano had seen Sterling since the controversy erupted and asked how he was doing.
"I think he feels very alone, not truly supported by those around him. Tormented, emotionally traumatized," she said.
Stiviano said she served as Sterling's "protector" and loved him "like a father."
Sterling's wife, Rochelle, sued Stiviano last month, seeking the return of a duplex, a Ferrari, two Bentleys and a Range Rover that the suit says Donald Sterling bought for Stiviano.
Rochelle Sterling alleges in the lawsuit that her husband met Stiviano at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami. The suit describes Stiviano, 31, as a seductress who targets wealthy older men like the 80-year-old Sterling.
According to property records, Stiviano purchased the duplex in December 2013. But Rochelle Sterling says that she allowed her husband to pay for the house, believing that her name would be on the deed along with his.
Sterling also gave Stiviano $240,000 for living expenses, according to the lawsuit, amounting to $2 million of community property that he allegedly spent on Stiviano without his wife's knowledge.
In a response to the lawsuit, Stiviano argues that Rochelle Sterling must have known that her husband of more than 50 years had romantic relationships outside of his marriage.