In the wake of Scott Sterling‘s death, the media is clamoring for news to report about the man’s controversial father, Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
And so it is that Deadspin reports on a decades-old disciplinary incident that apparently took place in the Sterling home. The site republished a letter from a reporter who covered the team back in the late 1980s. In the letter, the reporter recounts being told by former Clipper Danny Manning about a situation wherein Sterling allegedly forced his then 7-year-old son to get naked in front of dinner guests before spanking the child’s bare behind.
Scott’s death was reported as an apparent drug overdose, and the press was quick to point out the younger Sterling’s past run-in with the law. Scott was accused of shooting his childhood friend at the age of 19, and it was alleged Scott’s father used intimidation tactics and well-placed connections to get his son off without formal charges.
Other Sterling topics being buzzed about are Donald’s alleged slumlording ways, and his strange behavior behind the scenes of the Clippers organization.
In 2012, the basketball team owner and multi-billionaire real estate tycoon was ordered to pay $17.3 million to an actress whose belongings were destroyed by a fire due to negligent maintenance of a building Sterling owned. The year prior, Sterling was sued by Clippers’ former general manager Elgin Baylor for wrongful termination. In his lawsuit, Baylor made some pretty bizarre claims about Sterling’s manner of conduct. Specifically, that Sterling “would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, ‘Look at those beautiful black bodies.'”
Sterling’s questionable activities have been publicized through many legal battles over the years, including the lawsuit he filed to take back a Beverly Hills house he gave to a prostitute, as well as a case that resulted in a $2.73 million settlement with the U.S. government over housing discrimination claims. Public testimony in that case credited Sterling with spouting such gems as “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” and “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
While we can’t yet know for sure the cause of Scott’s death, he must have certainly led an interesting life under the shadow of such a controversial father. Donald and his wife, Shelly Sterling, issued the following statement regarding Scott:
“Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes. His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him.”
Authorities are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results before releasing an official cause of death.