In very explicit terms, disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has disputed the diagnoses by two physicians who recently declared him mentally incompetent.
Naturally, he did this in voice mail recordings that have become public.
Sterling, in messages to two doctors involved, told Dr. Meril Sue Platzer on June 9 that she is “nothing but a fraud and a liar and a cheat,” ESPN reported. In a voice mail for Dr. James Eward Spar on the same day, he threatened his job in a profanity-laced message.
“I’m gonna get you fired from UCLA because you’re nothing but a tramp. How dare you let someone use you that way?” Sterling said. “You know, you rely on doctors. You think that they’ll be above it all. But obviously you’re not. You’ll sell yourself for nothing. How dare you? How dare you give my records to a lawyer for the purposes of using it against me?”
It’s the latest development in a tangled legal mess between Sterling and his estranged wife, Shelly. As a co-owner of the team with Donald Sterling in a family trust, she has arranged a $2 billion sale of the team to Steve Ballmer after the declaration of incompetence by the doctors. Her request for a protective order was denied Thursday by Judge Michael Leans, who told both sides to “tone down the pre-trial communication.” Shelly Sterling’s lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, told the court that Sterling had threatened to “take you out, O’Donnell” and to “sue everybody.”
Max Blecher, Donald Sterling’s lawyer, said his client was angry over being powerless in the situation.
“He’s got a short fuse,” Blecher said, via Ramona Shelburne. “That doesn’t mean you’re incapacitated or nuts.”
A probate court hearing on the matter of competence is scheduled for July 7 and Thursday’s hearing was prompted by concerns by Shelly Sterling and her lawyers that Donald Sterling was attempting to intimidate witnesses. The probate hearing came about after Shelly Sterling petitioned for a quick ruling on her standing to sell the team. The sale must close by Sept. 15 or the NBA will re-initiate proceedings to end the Sterlings’ ownership of the team.
In order for the sale to go through, Donald Sterling must agree to the sale or a court must validate Shelly Sterling’s standing as the sole trustee, Shelburne says.
Be warned that the audio, via the Los Angeles Times: