Donald Sterling made headlines this weekend when a tape of an alleged racist rant by Sterling, during a conversation with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, was leaked.

Who Is V. Stiviano?

Little is known of Stiviano, though, according to her Instagram page, she appears to have an affinity for designer clothes, purses and fancy cars. In her profile, Stiviano describes herself as an artist, stylist and philanthropist, and according to statements made in the leaked recording she identifies herself as part Mexican and part black – towards the beginning of the conversation, Stiviano is heard saying, “I wish I could change the color of my skin.”

Stiviano’s race appeared to be a point of contention between the two in the alleged recording. Sterling can be heard denying Stiviano’s ethnicity, saying, “You’re supposed to be a delicate white or a delicate Latina girl.”

Stiviano changed her name from Vanessa Maria Perez in 2010, stating that she had not “yet been fully accepted because of my race.” According to a lawsuit against her, Stiviano has also gone by the names Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez.

Stiviano’s many aliases are not the only mysterious identifiers. According to her Instagram page, Stiviano celebrated her 21st birthday six months ago, but conflicting sources state her age at 31, or 38.

Stiviano Denies Leaking The Recording

Stiviano has been in hiding since the tape was leaked and has not commented to the press. Her attorney, Mac E. Nehoray, released a statement validating the authenticity of the conversation and claiming the leak did not come from Stiviano.

“This office understands that the currently released audio tape of approximately 15 minutes is a portion of approximately one hour of overall audio recording of Mr. Donald T. Sterling and Ms. Stiviano, and is in fact legitimate. Ms. Stiviano did not release the tape(s) to any news media,” reads the statement.

Nehoray also claims that Stiviano has never claimed to have been romantically involved with Sterling, suggesting that either they were never having an affair or that the affair has since ended.

“Neither Ms. Stiviano, nor this office has ever alleged that Ms. Stiviano is, or ever was, Mr. Sterling’s girlfriend,” Nehoray said in a statement.

A statement made by Sterling claim that Stivino leaked the tape in an act of revenge. “We do know that the woman on the tape – who we believe released it to TMZ – is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family, alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even,’” reads the statement.

Rochelle Sterling Suing V. Stiviano

Rochelle Sterling, Sterling’s wife of 50 years, recently filed a lawsuit against Stiviano, claiming that Stiviano seduced her husband into buying her lavish gifts, which she now refuses to return. According to the suit, Stiviano seduced Sterling after meeting him at the 2010 Super Bowl and has manipulated him into buying her a duplex in L.A. and giving her $240,000 in pocket change. Furthermore, the suit alleges that Stiviano has acquired up to $2 million worth of property – expensive cars, etc. – that Rochelle is entitled to.

Rochelle alleges that she agreed to let her husband buy Stiviano the house on the condition that the deed would be in her name as well as her husband’s. However, the deed is in Stiviano’s name, and Stiviano is claiming that Rochelle knew about her relationship with Sterling and has no claim to her home.

In her own court fillings, Stiviano dismisses the notion that she could manipulate Sterling, “one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world.”

Clippers Silent Protest

Neither Stiviano nor Sterling attended the Clippers game Sunday night, which the Clippers lost 97 – 118 to the Golden State Warriors. However, Sterling’s wife did attend the game, wearing all black, which some interpret as a sign of solidarity with the players who wore black armbands and black socks. The players engaged in a silent protest Sunday with their uniforms, wearing black and also wearing their warmups inside out, with no Clippers logo visible.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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