V. Stiviano Was the Force Behind Donald Sterling's NBA Ejection — Where Is She Now?

Donald Sterling’s ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano caused his downfall. Now, she’s lying low as a FX’s ‘Clipped’ revisits the scandal.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Apr. 26 2024, Published 3:40 p.m. ET

V. Stiviano spotted in Los Angeles in 2014
Source: Getty Images

V. Stiviano in 2014

Everyone loves a good sports scandal — from the NFL Patriots’ “deflategate” to the MLB’s mass doping scandal, there’s no shortage of drama in the world of sports. In 2014, one of the NBA’s most significant scandals centered around Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and his then-mistress, V. Stiviano.

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V. Stiviano was his extra-marital girlfriend at the time, and was at least his second major documented affair throughout his nearly 60-year marriage to Rochelle “Shelly” Stein, in addition to a couple of sexual harassment lawsuits against him. V, whose birth name is Maria Vanessa Perez, led to Donald’s downfall, but where is she now?

V Stiviano attends OK! Magazine's So Sexy Event at SkyBar at the Mondrian Los Angeles on May 21, 2015
Source: Getty Images

V. Stiviano in 2015

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Now, Donald Sterling’s ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano is lying low and staying out of the spotlight.

In 2014, a scandal broke that took over the media cycle: longtime sports team owner Donald, one of the wealthiest men in America, was caught on tape saying he didn’t want to associate with Black people. It’s one of the most overtly racist remarks said by a man in power in recent years, and combined with his history of sexual assault allegations and other racism lawsuits, it was enough to get Donald fully banned from the NBA.

V. got wrapped up in all of it because she was the woman on tape in conversation with Donald when he said those things. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to?" he said to her after she posted a picture with the legendary Magic Johnson.

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"You can sleep with [Black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games,” he said to her two minutes later. "I’m just saying, in your lousy f---ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with Black people."

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Despite being on the other side of the conversation, V. said she wasn’t actually the person who leaked the tape. “This office understands that the currently released audio tape of approximately 15 minutes is a portion of approximately one (1) hour of overall audio recording of Mr. Donald T. Sterling and Ms. Stiviano, and is in fact legitimate,” her lawyer, Mac E. Nehoray, said in a news release. “Ms. Stiviano did not release the tape(s) to any news media.”

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As the story comes back into the public eye, V. has remained mum on the issue. Donald’s wife, Shelley, filed a lawsuit against her for having an affair with Donald; V. fought back but was forced to give up the $2.6 million duplex Donald bought her. Shelley alleged that V. targeted extremely wealthy men to have affairs with to receive monetary gifts.

Now, her Instagram is kept private and the most recent thing we heard from here was when TMZ caught her in 2018. "Everyone's making such a big deal over every small little thing," V. told the outlet when they asked about Roseanne Barr’s firing for racist remarks. "No one has freedom of speech anymore! No one can say what they feel because if they do, they're gonna lose their job." She added that she thinks “everyone’s a little bit racist.”

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She’s probably not wrong that everyone has some sort of internalized racism, but keeping a low profile going forward is definitely the best way forward for someone who was embroiled in such a public scandal. As more details come out in FX’s Clipped, she may speak out about it for the first time since it all went down. Now, she models from time to time and has been seen out and about in Los Angeles, but beyond that, we know very little about her current whereabouts.

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