Donald Sterling filed for divorce from his wife of 60 years Wednesday, potentially beginning yet another legal battle against Shelly Sterling. The documents filed in LA Superior Court cite irreconcilable difference, and note that the Sterlings have been separated since August 2012.
The LA Times reports that the court filing allege that “Shelly Sterling has refused to distribute her husband’s share of the record $2-billion sale of the Clippers,” and Donald Sterling attorney Bobby Samini told the paper that “Donald hereby demands an accounting and distribution” of proceeds from the sale.
If you recall, over a year ago Shelly had Donald examined by two doctors, who felt that he was mentally incapacitated. She used those determinations to take over control of the Sterling Family Trust—which held the Los Angeles Clippers—and reached an agreement to sell the team to Steve Ballmer. Donald tried, and failed, to block the sale with a lawsuit.
Currently, Donald Sterling is suing the NBA, Shelly Sterling, and the two doctors who found that he was mentally incapacitated in federal court. Since he has not signed off on the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer—even though the team was sold by the Sterling Family Trust, which he did not have control of—Donald Sterling’s half of the $2 billion is currently being held in escrow by the NBA. ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne sent out a handful of tweets tonight with added context:
Shelly Sterling said that of the $1 billion that was transferred into the trust she controls, she’s paid out $600 million in taxes and fees. Donald Sterling’s lawyer Bobby Samini has asked for a full accounting. “We want to know where the money went. A billion is a lot of money.” Donald Sterling, essentially, has received nothing yet from the sale because he’s still suing the league and Shelly. Shelly Sterling controls the family trust, if you remember, because doctors declared him mentally unfit to control business and legal affairs.
Bad people arguing over how rich they should be is nothing new, but just like Donald Sterling’s lawsuit directly against the NBA, this has the potential to be embarrassing for the league. (It will also surely be embarrassing for both of the Sterlings, but we blew past that stage a long time ago.) Depending upon how drawn out and bitter the dispute over the couple’s shared property is, we could see the disclosure of documents relating to the hurried and possibly fraudulent (according to Donald, at least) sale of the Clippers,