For the first time since he began a nearly two-month battle to block his wife from selling the Clippers, Donald Sterling met Monday with Steve Ballmer, the man who would like to replace him as principal owner of the team.
Whether the 11/2 -hour afternoon session at Sterling’s Beverly Hills mansion signals a possible breakthrough is unclear.
Lawyers for Sterling and his wife are scheduled to return to court Tuesday to continue a trial in which a probate judge has been asked to determine whether Shelly Sterling acted properly when she took over the family trust that owns the NBA franchise and other assets. She signed a sales agreement May 29 to sell the team for $2 billion to Ballmer, former chief executive of Microsoft.
The trial Monday morning delved into the issue of whether Donald Sterling, 80, had caused harm to his family’s finances when he moved in June to dismantle the trust. A Sterling employee testified that the owner’s action could force the trust to repay $480 million in real estate loans, a claim that was hotly disputed by Donald Sterling’s representatives.
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