LOS ANGELES — Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sought a divorce from his wife of nearly 60 years on Wednesday as he continues to battle her over ownership of the team.
Sterling, 81, cited irreconcilable differences in paperwork submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court, attorney Bobby Samini said. That paperwork was rejected by the court as incomplete, but Samini said the form would be fixed and resubmitted.
Attorney Pierce O'Donnell said Shelly Sterling has no comment and had not yet seen any divorce petition.
The filing comes two weeks before the couple's 60th anniversary and about four months after a judge ordered V. Stiviano — a woman who Shelly Sterling alleged was her husband's mistress — to turn over the keys to a $1.8 million house that Donald Sterling bought her and to pay Shelly Sterling about $800,000 that her husband showered on the younger woman in cash, a Ferrari and other luxury vehicles.
The ruling came nearly a year after a recording of Donald Sterling telling Stiviano not to associate with black people led the NBA to ban him for life and fine him $2.5 million. The recording was leaked weeks after Shelly Sterling sued Stiviano, alleging she was her husband's mistress.
While Shelly Sterling acknowledged marital problems, she said the couple never separated even though she had divorce papers drawn up.
The couple testified at trial last month in Los Angeles Superior Court about their enduring love for each other, displaying cards they gave each other for anniversaries and birthdays.
Despite making nice during the trial, Donald Sterling is suing his wife and the NBA in federal court over the $2 billion sale of the team. She negotiated the deal with ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after doctors found Donald Sterling incompetent to handle his business affairs.
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Tami Abdollah, The Associated Press