- POSTED: 10 Jul 2014 16:05
A combative Donald Sterling testified he would go to his grave "suing the NBA" amid chaotic scenes in the courtroom on Wednesday which included him calling his wife a pig.
LOS ANGELES: A combative Donald Sterling testified he would go to his grave "suing the NBA" amid chaotic scenes in the courtroom on Wednesday which included him calling his wife a pig.
The outspoken Sterling told the Los Angeles Superior Court that he was "deceived" by his wife so that he could be declared mentally unfit, allowing her to sell the Los Angeles Clippers franchise which he has owned since 1981.
Shelly Sterling took the stand for the first time on Wednesday and after giving her testimony, she approached Donald Sterling who yelled loudly enough so people in the court could hear, "Get away from me, you pig!"
The outburst visibly upset Shelly Sterling who quickly took her seat next to her lawyers. Two sheriff deputies then moved over and stood next to Donald Sterling in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
When court adjourned for the day, officials cleared spectators from the courtroom gallery, leaving the Sterlings on opposite sides of the room sitting next to their lawyers. Both eventually left the court via different doors -- Donald Sterling through a rear entrance and Shelly through the courtroom door.
Sterling was banned from the NBA for life earlier this year following the release of recorded conversations between him and his girlfriend V. Stiviano.
Sterling is heard on the tape making bigoted comments, criticising Stiviano for having her picture taken with black people.
He said he was recorded illegally while making emotional remarks during a disagreement with Stiviano.
The league announced plans to take action against Sterling to force him to sell the team. Sterling has since filed a lawsuit against the NBA, alleging violations of his civil rights.
The non-jury trial is being held to determine if Shelly Sterling has the authority to sell the Clippers under the terms of the family trust that owns the team.
After being a no-show on Monday's first day of the trial, Donald Sterling appeared for his second day of testimony on Wednesday.
On the stand prior to the outburst, he said his wife doesn't understand the terms of the family trust and was lied to by NBA officials in an effort to force him to give up control of the team.
"My wife, my beautiful wife, wouldn't know what's in the trust," he said.
"She didn't read the trust. The trust is complicated."