Donald Sterling Denies Being Racist, Slams Magic Johnson

| by Michael Allen

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling recently told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he was  baited into making racist statements, but is not a racist.

"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that... I don't know why the girl had me say those things," Sterling says in an interview scheduled to air tomorrow on CNN.

After Cooper asked Sterling if he was set up, the 80-year-old married billionaire replied, "Well, yes, I was baited. I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people."

"I'm not a racist," added Sterling, noted "I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt."

Almost two weeks ago, a 10-minute audio recording surfaced with Sterling telling a woman named V. Stiviano to stop posting pictures online of herself with African-Americans, including Magic Johnson. Sterling also told Stiviano not to bring any black people to Clippers games.

"I don't know. An 80-year-old man is kind of foolish, and I'm kind of foolish," added Sterling. "I thought she liked me and really cared for me. I guess being 51 years older than her, I was deluding myself... I just wish I could ask her why, and if she was just setting me up."

However, Stiviano told ABC News last week that she was not Sterling's girlfriend, but rather his personal assistant. She also claimed Sterling has made numerous racist remarks.

"There's been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one," said Stiviano. "Part of what the world heard was only 15 minutes. There's a number of other hours that the world doesn't know."

Sterling told Cooper that he's spoken with Johnson, whom he apologized to, but then insulted him again.

"If I said anything wrong, I'm sorry," Sterling said. "He's a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don't think so. But I'll say it, he's great. But I don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles."

Sources:, ABC News, CNN