Sterling Solicited Prostitute’s Personnel Opinions

In support of its landmark discrimination case against current NBA team owner Donald Sterling, the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) submitted to federal court on July 9, 2009, a sworn statement by Alexandra Castro from a previously unrelated court case.

Donald Sterling solicited prostitute's advice on NBA team personnel matters

(Sterling ‘consulted’ same woman he called a ‘prostitute’ on team personnel) 

Castro, who was a past acquaintance of the NBA owner, included the following characterization of her relationship with Sterling in the 2003 statement filed by the DOJ in support of its 2009 case against Sterling:

“During our relationship, Mr. Sterling consulted me on issues he was considering almost every day including, among others, whether he should hire Alvin Gentry to coach the Los Angeles Clippers (although I had no experience in such matters), how he should respond to requests by players for the Los Angeles Clippers for increases in their compensation (Mr. Sterling and I often had dinner at the Arena Club with agents for a number of players) … “

In the same case United States Attorneys also submitted a deposition of attorney Raymond Hersh, a founding partner of Los Angeles law firm Hersh, Mannis & Bogen who formerly represented Castro. Hersh’s sworn testimony, which was also from a previously unrelated court action, included the following about what Castro had told him about her relationship with Sterling:

“They had a relationship where she cooked, drove, cleaned, was consulted on remodeling apartments, who went to dinner with agents, who should be hired — she didn’t make the decision, she said, but she was consulted about who to hire in the Clipper organization and what should be done, what he was thinking.”

Four months after the U.S. Dept. of Justice submitted the sworn statements from Castro and Hersh to a federal court, along with a mountain of other evidence, NBA team owner Sterling agreed to pay the largest discrimination settlement in the history of United States jurisprudence.

So who is Alexandra Castro and why was Donald Sterling soliciting her opinions on player salaries, inviting her to meet with the agents of Clippers players and consulting her on who the next head coach of the Clippers should be?

In a 2003 sworn deposition, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling described Alexandra Castro under oath as ..

“.. a prostitute … she was a total freak and a piece of trash … “

In the same deposition Sterling described, while under penalty of perjury, his relationship with Castro ..

“It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex.  The girl was providing sex for money.”

“I probably didn’t tell my wife .. maybe I did something morally wrong.”

Sterling’s sworn characterizations of Castro - and the exact nature of their relationship - are contained in 2003 Los Angeles Superior Court papers documenting a lawsuit brought by the NBA team owner against Castro.

During what court documents indicate was a relationship between Sterling and Castro from 1999-2002, the Los Angeles Clippers owner voluntarily transferred the title of a Beverly Hills home he owned to Castro and her mother.

After Castro spurned Sterling, ending their relationship, the Los Angeles NBA team team owner filed a lawsuit to get the house back.

The ensuing legal dispute, which effectively forced Castro to make sworn court statements about their relationship in defending herself against the billionaire tycoon’s litigation, ultimately resulted in her retaining the home.

Those same sworn statements about Sterling in Castro’s court response to his 2003 lawsuit were later used against the Los Angeles Clippers owner by the Dept. of Justice in the aforementioned federal discrimination case that cost the NBA team owner nearly $3 million.

And it was, again, those same sworn statements about Sterling in Castro’s court responses to his 2003 lawsuit that also revealed to NBA Commissioner David Stern that one of the league’s club owners solicited opinions on team personnel matters from a woman he claimed, under oath, was “a prostitute …  total freak and a piece of trash.

At least if you believe the United States Department of Justice.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

Series Now Tossup After Game Sick Performance

Suns Coach Alvin Gentry last night at Staples during Sun-Lakers WCF Game 5:

If Phoenix is to extend the series on Saturday, it’ll once again come down to bench play.

Advantage: Suns. Read more…

Speed Read: Penn St. & Illinois Stink Up The Joint

Basketball: it’s a beautiful game. Or fantastically ugly, depending on which game you watched last night. On one hand, you had the Phoenix Suns putting up 140 points for the second straight game in their 142-119 victory over the depleted Los Angeles Clippers. On the other, there was Penn State and Illinois, who combined scored exactly one-half as many points as the Suns did in the Nittany Lions’ 38-33 upset victory over the Fighting Illini.

Penn State vs Illinois

Let’s talk about the latter game first. It wasn’t the lowest scoring game since the 45-second shot clock was introduced in 1986, but it was close. (That distinction belongs to Monmouth’s 41-21 win over Princeton in 2006.) They also flirted with the record for fewest combined points in a half, with the two team’s output of 32 just eclipsing the record of 28 set by Mississippi and South Carolina back in 2003.

The box score tells you all you need to know about the debacle. Exactly one player scored in double digits: Penn State’s Talor Battle, who put up 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting. Heck, the Nittany Lions as a team shot 28.3 percent from the field, and they won.

At least the two teams didn’t let a little thing like not being able to hit the broadside of a barn stop them from shooting the deep ball: they combined to go 6-for-33 from the three-point line. And Illinois didn’t attempt a free throw. For the game. Way to be aggressive, guys. But I guess a win’s a win, even if it’s the most embarrassing and pathetic kind possible. Congratulations, Penn State, I guess.

Steve Nash and Al Thorton

And then there are the Suns. You’ll excuse me if I don’t get too excited by the sudden return of the high-scoring, fast-paced, exciting Suns with Alvin Gentry as head coach after putting a hurting on the Clippers on back-to-back nights. First off, it’s the Clippers to begin with, but if a team with Amare Stoudemire (for now) can’t murder a team that’s missing Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, Brian Skinner and Zach Randolph, then something is seriously wrong.

Check back with me on Sunday after you guys visit Boston, and we’ll see how you’re doing.

But the Suns have a date with Oklahoma City before then on Friday, which will be without newly-acquired Tyson Chandler. Permanently. That’s because the Thunder rescinded their trade with New Orleans from Tuesday and sent Chandler back to the Hornets after he failed a physical with their team doctor.

Tyson Chandler

As TRUEHOOP notes, it’s probably going to be pretty awkward in New Orleans as Chandler has to return to the team that just unloaded him for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. (By the way, is Joe Smith involved with every strange trade or free agent signing in the NBA?) What makes things even more odd is that Chandler didn’t fail the physical because of his sprained left ankle - it was because of a big toe injury he suffered in 2007. And the Thunder’s doctor was the one who performed the surgery.

And speaking of injuries…Ken Griffey Jr. is back with the Mariners! All joking aside, I think most people of my generation will think it’s pretty neat to see Junior back in a Mariners uniform (presumably) for the rest of his career. And the story of his signing with the Mariners is unique; the SEATTLE TIMES says that apparently the No. 1 salesman for Seattle was Harold Reynolds, a close friend of Griffey’s. He had been working on Griffey to sell him on the move to Seattle when he played his trump card: hugging Willie Mays.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Reynolds set up a phone call between Griffey and the Say Hey Kid, who was Griffey’s idol and the reason he wears No. 24. And sure enough, soon after having the phone conversation with Mays, Griffey told the Mariners that he would sign with them. A great story, although I’m not sure I’d take advice from Willie Mays on how to end your career gracefully.

More sports stories to learn about as you ponder if anyone’s life could be stranger than Tracy Morgan’s

Which star athlete’s end of career death spiral was most painful to watch?

View Results