Donald Sterling to Shelly: ‘Get away from me, you pig!’

Shelly Sterling approached her husband Donald after his testimony on third day of a trial in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday only to have him yell at her and call her a "pig."
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Somehow, Donald Sterling was even more combative on Wednesday than he was on Tuesday.

In the third day of a trial in Los Angeles Superior Court that could determine whether he remains owner of the Clippers, Sterling railed against the NBA, his wife Shelly and her lawyers. He slammed his fist on the stand during examination and raised his voice when agitated, which was often.

It got to the point that when Shelly approached him after her testimony, Donald yelled at her to “get away from me, you pig.” On the stand two hours earlier, he had said that she was beautiful, talented and that he was still in love with her.

Sterling’s testimony started when Shelly’s lawyer, Bert Fields, asked if he was retired. Sterling smirked and said, “I run five major corporations. You know I’m not retired.”


Judge Michael Levanas, commenting on Sterling’s demeanor, said, “That’s not too bad. Better than yesterday. Let’s try and remember you’re here to answer the questions.”

On the stand Tuesday, Sterling had approached Fields in a similar way. He insulted the 85-year-old attorney throughout, calling him names and accusing him of possibly being guilty of fraud.

In between the barbs, much of Tuesday was about the bigger picture as it appears in the eyes of Sterling -- winning a $9-billion antitrust case against the NBA and selling the Clippers for as much as $5 billion.

Wednesday, many of those bold claims remained. Sterling accused former NBA commissioner David Stern of hoarding $150 million after retirement, and said that the NBA was a “terrible institution” and “the worst corporation in America.”

Regarding the team he has owned since 1981, Sterling said that he would have sold the team to the NBA if they had withdrawn all of the punishments against him stemming from an audio recording of Sterling making racially charged comments.

The NBA banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million. “Make no mistake today, I will never, ever, sell this team. Until I die, I will be suing the NBA to try and make them pay for the terrible violations of antitrust they have imposed on me and my family.”

He also rejected the claims that he is intolerant.

“I’m not a racist,” he said. “I love all people. But I was the poster boy, and that’s OK. We’ll see what happens.”

During a recess after Sterling testified, Shelly walked over to her husband. They seemed civil, talking and smiling.

That was before Shelly testified, though. On the stand, she said that she loves and cares about Donald, but said that “he’s been getting more forgetful. He’s slurring his words. He’s agitated a lot. He gets mad for no particular reason. He’s just not the same person that he used to be.”

Donald Sterling’s day in court started with aggression and ended with him calling his wife a pig. Court, and the theatrics, resume Thursday at 1:30 pm.

Follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook