Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling and wife decide not to divorce

Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling

Shelly Sterling sits with her husband, then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, at a Nov. 12, 2010, Clippers-Pistons game at Staples Center.

(Mark Terrill / Associated Press)

Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly, have decided not to divorce, according to a filing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“Notwithstanding all the difficult events of the last two years, the Sterlings have resolved their differences,” Donald Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini, wrote in an email to The Times on Friday. 

Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, confirmed the couple’s decision, but declined further comment.

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Donald Sterling cited “irreconcilable differences” when he filed for divorce last August, three weeks before the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary. Sterling said in court documents that the couple separated in August 2012.

Shelly Sterling remains a defendant in her husband’s federal lawsuit over the $2-billion sale of the Clippers. Donald Sterling accused her of conspiring with the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, also defendants in the case in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, to sell the Clippers against his wishes. The case is ongoing.

After Donald Sterling’s inflammatory recorded comments about African Americans became public in 2014, Shelly Sterling removed her husband as a member of the family trust that owned the Clippers after two doctors declared him to be mentally incapacitated.

During a probate hearing in July 2014 in Los Angeles County Superior Court that examined the removal and other circumstances of the sale, Donald Sterling called his wife a “pig.” The judge in the case ruled that Shelly Sterling acted properly in removing her husband as a trustee and pursuing the sale of the Clippers.


The sale of the franchise to Steve Ballmer closed on Aug. 14, 2014.

Samini said last year that his client hadn’t received the proceeds from the sale of the team he owned for 33 years. Half of the money was in an NBA-controlled escrow account pending the federal lawsuit’s resolution while the remainder went to Shelly Sterling.

It’s unclear if the issue has been resolved.

Twitter: @nathanfenno


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