Sterling, Stiviano speak out for first time since ban

Last Updated May 3, 2014 8:16 AM EDT

The woman who recorded racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said Sterling is not a racist.

V. Stiviano spoke in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters.

'I think the things he says are not what he feels," said Stiviano. "Anyone can say anything in the heat of the moment."

"I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than I am," said Stiviano. "I think he was brought up to believe those things, segregation, whites and blacks ... but, through his actions, he's shown that he's not a racist. Through his actions, he's shown to be a very generous and kind man. If he was a real racist, then why would he help the world the way that he has?"

Sterling has also spoken out publicly for the first time since his ban from the NBA, CBS News' Carter Evans reports.

The single quote from Sterling appeared in DuJour, an online version of a little-known magazine geared toward the mega-wealthy.

Sterling allegedly told a reporter, "I wish I had just paid her off," a reference to Stiviano, his former girlfriend who recorded the Clippers owner's racist remarks.

On Thursday, a subcommittee of 10 NBA team owners agreed to move forward as "expeditiously as possible." CBS News has learned the group is fairly confident it can get the necessary 23 out of 30 owner votes required to force the sale.

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, 49 percent of all Americans think Sterling should be forced to sell the team, but the poll also shows that support is divided along racial lines.

Most African-Americans - 71-percent - think he should be forced to sell while only 43 percent of whites do.

But University of Southern California law professor Michael Chasalow said the move could eventually impact other team owners.

Sterling is also facing another battle. CBS News confirmed the 80-year-old billionaire has been fighting prostate cancer for several years.

The Clippers now head into Saturday night's Game 7 with their season on the line and the team's future ownership still in doubt.

"This thing has touched a lot of people," said head coach Doc Rivers, "and, again, the people that didn't do anything are being harmed."

Once the NBA provides Sterling with a copy of the written charges against him, he'll have five days to reply. After that, the rest of the team owners will meet within 10 days to decide the next steps.

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