Hours after Donald Sterling’s CFO revealed in a probate court hearing that Sterling faces serious financial repercussions if he refuses to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, Sterling met with Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO who wants to purchase the team for $2 billion.
The two men met for a 90-minute “friendly conversation” at Sterling’s home in Beverly Hills without reaching a settlement, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports.
Here’s Shelburne with more:
The meeting was arranged Sunday night following a three-hour meeting earlier in the day between Donald and Shelly Sterling, sources said.
Donald Sterling had been preparing to file a new suit in state court on Monday morning before he and his wife spoke at length Sunday night at Donald’s house.
He then asked to meet with Ballmer after the meeting with Shelly and a meeting with his attorney, sources said.
Earlier Monday in a Los Angeles probate court, Sterling family trust CFO Darren Schield testified that Sterling “may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion,” the Associated Press reports. Schield said Sterling’s decision to revoke the family trust — a move he made to halt the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer — triggered default provisions and that three banks are ready to recall their loans to Sterling.
Schield testified that he warned Sterling not to revoke the trust.
At issue in probate court is whether Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling’s wife, acted properly when she assumed full control of the family trust — which owns the Clippers — after two doctors found that Donald Sterling was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. After the diagnosis, Shelly Sterling moved forward with her sale of the Clippers to Ballmer. Donald Sterling originally acquiesced to the sale before changing his mind and revoking the family trust in an effort to stop it.
Donald Sterling’s lawyers have argued that the medical exams “were conducted under false pretenses because he was not informed the results could later be used to exclude him as a trustee. His lawyers also argue the doctors violated federal privacy laws by disseminating the results of his exams to attorneys in the case, and that their testimony and findings should not be admissible,” Shelburne reports. The latter argument was rejected by Judge Michael Levanas last week.
Shelly Sterling is scheduled to be called as a witness when the probate hearing resumes Tuesday. Her original agreement with Ballmer called for the sale to be completed by July 15, which a possible extension to Aug. 15. The NBA has said it will step in to sell the team itself if a new owner isn’t in place by Sept. 15.