The woman who recorded Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments agreed during an appearance on the Dr. Phil show on Wednesday that she had a fabulous body, but insisted that she never had sex with Sterling.
"I mean look at my body," V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the controversy, said when asked to respond to Sterling's assessment of her. "I personally think I have a great, fabulous body. In regards to why would he say that I like to have sex, I don't know. Only he would know that. I can't get into his brain."
Stiviano was pressed repeatedly by the talk show host, Phil McGraw, about her relationship with Sterling. What work had she done, he asked, to earn the Ferrari, two Bentleys, Range Rover and the$1.8 million condo he had reportedly given her?
"He liked me," she said. "He cared for me. He didn't have a very close relationship with his own children. Whatever the reason was that Mr. Sterling did what he did for me, he knows that. I didn't ask for it out of the blue. I didn't request it."
Stiviano, 31, recorded Sterling telling her that she should not post photos of herself online with black people or bring black people to the Clippers games. The recording was released by someone with whom she had shared it, she said during the interview.
Sterling's comments led to his being banned for life by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned and being fined $2.5 million. The other league owners have been urged to force him to sell the team.
And according to the NBA's formal charges, obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times, Sterling attempted to persuade V. Stiviano to say he was not responsible for the racist comments.
Stiviano said that she had no job title and that her days ranged from attending NBA board meetings to shopping with Sterling for clothes and socks.
"It's rare that Mr. Sterling did things for himself," she said. "He was living in a bubble."
Sterling's wife has sued Stiviano for the return of more than $2.5 million in gifts that she allegedly received, including the luxury cars and the condo, according to lawyers.
Asked about a comment that she was paid off the books, Stiviano said she did not receive a W2 form, or wage and tax statement, while she was employed by Sterling. Asked whether she had paid taxes on what she made, she responded, "I cannot answer that."
Nor would she say what she had been paid.
Asked why she had appeared in public shielded by a visor, she said she was hiding the pain, but also protecting her face after having had a laser procedure. McGraw asked her if she enjoyed the attention.
"Absolutely," she said. "Are you kidding me? I get to experience firsthand what it is to be a celebrity in L.A.," she said.
Stiviano said that she had been introduced to Sterling by a mutual friend. He suggested she might want to work for his non-profit but when she called him a few months later, he did not remember her, she told McGraw.
"He asked me to send a couple of pictures which was kind of weird for me but it is L.A. so after all I said OK, why not?" she said.
She denied that they had a sexual encounter during that first interview and said that she did not think it inappropriate to accepts gifts from a married man.
"Absolutely not," she said.