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Who is V. Stiviano?
02:35 - Source: CNN AP

Story highlights

V. Stiviano is being sued by the wife of Clippers owner Donald Sterling

Stiviano's attorney says she didn't release the tape that had racist comments

Sterling's wife filed a suit against her, claiming she received lavish gifts

CNN  — 

She calls herself an artist, writer, chef, poet, stylist and philanthropist.

The wife of her 80-year-old boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend) calls her a mistress and a gold digger.

And now V. Stiviano, the woman who was a regular courtside presence at Los Angeles Clippers games next to owner Donald Sterling, is attracting more attention than the players.

Audio recordings that surfaced over the weekend purportedly depict an argument between Stiviano and Sterling. If authentic, the recordings seem to reflect Sterling’s embarrassment and frustration with Stiviano over her associating with African-Americans at Clippers games and posting such pictures on her Instagram account.

Here’s what we know about Stiviano.

1. She’s the target of a lawsuit

Just last month, Sterling’s wife filed a lawsuit against Stiviano, accusing her having an affair with the billionaire team owner.

In the complaint, Rochelle Sterling accuses Stiviano of targeting extremely wealthy older men. The suit claims that Donald Sterling used the couple’s money to buy Stiviano a Ferrari, two Bentleys and a Range Rover.

Stiviano also took over a $1.8 million duplex through fraud and received about $250,000 in cash from Sterling, the court document claims.

Stiviano fought back, saying in another court document that there was nothing wrong with Donald Sterling giving her gifts. She also said she never took advantage of the Clippers owner, who made much of his fortune in real estate.

2. Stiviano herself is of mixed race

In the audio recording on TMZ, the woman reminds the man that she is of “mixed” race and part black.

In another part of the recording she says she is “black and Mexican.”

3. She says she’s not the one who leaked the tape

Stiviano’s lawyer, Mac E. Nehoray, said Stiviano was not the one who publicized the conversation.

“This office understands that the currently released audio tape of approximately 15 minutes is a portion of approximately one (1) hour of overall audio recording of Mr. Donald T. Sterling and Ms. Stiviano, and is in fact legitimate,” Nehoray said in a news release. “Ms. Stiviano did not release the tape(s) to any news media.”

4. She’s staying mum

Stiviano, whose first name is Vivian, has just two words posted on her door for reporters: “No comment,” CNN affiliate KCBS said.

KCBS reporter Greg Mills saw Stiviano walk down a staircase from her duplex in Beverly Grove, California, but she darted back up the stairs when she saw him.

5. Stiviano loves photos of herself

Just take a look at her Instagram account.

By Monday morning, the number of Stiviano’s Instagram followers had skyrocketed to 137,000.

Many of Stiviano’s photos feature her posing in front of Clippers banners or wearing a bikini. She also has several photos of men wearing baseball caps that read “V. Stiviano.”

“One day I will look back at Instagram & say, ‘I’ve been there & I’ve done that.’ I do it all. Artist, Lover, Writer, Chef, Poet, Stylist, Philanthropist,” Stiviano’s Instagram bio says.

The man alleged to be Sterling in the conversation takes particular exception to one photo he says the woman posted on Instagram. It was a photo of her and basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

“In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with – walking with black people,” the man says.

“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” she responds. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”

The website TMZ said the conversation reportedly took place on April 9.

One day later, Stiviano posted a photo of a wedding gown on Instagram.

“I THINK IM READY?” she wrote, adding hashtags such as “#beautiful #amazing #grace #lover #modern #day #marriage to #myself #weddingdress #justforfun.”


CNN’s Ralph Ellis, Steve Almasy, Kevin Conlon and AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report.