Donald Sterling Seeks Divorce From His Wife – A Marriage Of 60 Years Ending Over Sale Of Los Angeles Clippers

Donald Sterling, once owner of Los Angeles Clippers, has filed for divorce from his wife. The marriage that lasted almost 60 years may soon be torn apart as the duo continues to battle over a different issue.

At 81-years-old, Donald Sterling has filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences” in the divorce papers submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court, confirmed his attorney Bobby Samini. Incidentally, the divorce proceedings would have begun sooner, but the court administration had asked for some rectification as it had found the documents to be “incomplete”. The revised paperwork indicates the couple actually separated on Aug 1, 2012, but is seeking the court’s formal approval to break-apart a marriage that lasted almost 60 years, reported ESPN.

The documents were filed merely two weeks before the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary, and at the root of the separation is the revenue his wife made when she sold the Los Angeles Clippers team to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. Alongside the divorce papers, Sterling’s lawyers also filed a petition in probate court on Wednesday for an “accounting and distribution of assets” related to the sale of the team.

Donald Sterling strongly maintains that he has right to half of the sales proceedings, claiming them to be “community property.” Apart from his wife Shelly Sterling, who negotiated the deal with Ballmer, Mr. Sterling has also named the National Basketball Association in his case.

Interestingly, Shelly claims she never saw the full $2 billion. While she reportedly collected only half of the money, Shelly claims she had to fork out $600 million in taxes and legal fees. The other billion is still “frozen” and won’t be released until Donald Sterling willfully signs off on the sale and drops the lawsuit.

What makes the lawsuit tricky is that when the deal was going down, doctors had found Donald Sterling incompetent to handle his business affairs, reported Yahoo.

Sterling’s checkered past has been dragged to the court on numerous occasions. Just four months back, a judge had ordered one V. Stiviano, to turn over the keys to a $1.8 million house to Shelly and pay the latter $800,000 that Donald reportedly spent on the former. Mr. Sterling has also been banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million after a recording surfaced of him telling Stiviano not to associate with black people.

Despite the marital problems, the Sterlings stayed together and had even tried to convince the court once about their “enduring love,” which seems to have suddenly evaporated.

[Image Credit | John W. McDonough / Getty Images]