Woman at center of Donald Sterling scandal to become a foster mom

LOS ANGELES -- V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal, will become the foster mother to two boy, CBS Los Angeles reported Tuesday.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services approved her guardianship request for a 12-year-old and 13-year-old boy, the station said.

Stiviano, 31, has known the children for years and hopes to adopt them eventually, according to her attorney, Mac Nehoray.

Last week, the NBA fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from any association with the Clippers and the league over racist remarks he made during a recorded conversation with Stiviano.

Stiviano, who was born Maria Vanessa Perez but changed her name in 2010, is being sued by Sterling's wife, Rochelle, who claims Stiviano received more than $2.5 million in lavish gifts from the 80-year-old Sterling. Rochelle Sterling says the money came from the couple's community property, and she wants it back.

In the suit, Rochelle Serling accuses Stiviano of engaging "in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce, and then entice, cajole, borrow from, cheat and/or receive as gifts transfers of wealth from wealthy older men whom she targets for such purpose."

Stiviano's attorney denies the allegations and is seeking to have portions of the lawsuit dismissed.

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V. Stiviano wears a huge visor to hide her face as she walks outside her home in Los Angeles on April 28, 2014.
JONATHAN ALCORN, REUTERS

Meanwhile, the NBA announced Tuesday that Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence while the NBA restructures the franchise in the wake of Donald Sterling's lifetime ban.

The league announced plans last week to appoint a CEO to oversee the franchise in Sterling's absence.

Roeser's leave begins immediately.

"This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

Sterling is the NBA's longest-tenured owner after buying the Clippers in 1981. Roeser, one of the Clippers' alternate governors, is one of the league's longest-tenured executives, having just completed his 30th season with the team.

The announcement of Roeser's leave surprised Clippers coach Doc Rivers while he prepared the team for Game 2 of its second-round playoff series in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

"I knew they were going to bring in a new CEO eventually, but it is (a surprise)," Rivers said. "I just didn't know about it. I'm glad I didn't know about it, actually. I think the NBA is doing their job, and we're just trying to keep this thing together."

Roeser has been a loyal frontman for Sterling since the franchise's days in San Diego, and he stood by Sterling during every controversial stretch of the owner's career. Only radio and television play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler has worked for the Clippers longer than the 54-year-old Roeser, who became team president in 2007.

But Roeser infuriated many longtime Clippers employees last week after Sterling's private conversation was made public by TMZ.

While nearly everyone else was reacting with outrage, Roeser released a statement questioning whether the recordings of Sterling were legitimate, while simultaneously apologizing on Sterling's behalf for sentiments about Magic Johnson on the recordings. Roeser's statement was sympathetic to Sterling and criticized Stiviano, the other voice on the recordings.

Rivers said Roeser's statement upset many loyal Clippers employees who had been horrified by Sterling's comments. Rivers held meetings with much of the Clippers' front-office staff last week while Sterling was ousted, encouraging them to keep working for the franchise.

"I think that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way," Rivers said. "Andy right away said that was the wrong statement, so he apologized for that, and then we moved on."

Roeser joined the organization in 1984 from an accounting firm. Two years later, he became executive vice president, overseeing all facets of the team's business operations. He has been president of the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation since it began in 1994.

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