An attorney for Shelly Sterling submitted a request on Wednesday for an emergency court hearing to confirm her as the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Clippers in an attempt to block estranged husband Donald Sterling from stopping the $2 billion sale of the NBA team.
A spokeswoman at the Los Angeles Superior Court said the paperwork had been submitted but not yet formally filed.
Sterling, 80, was banned for life by the NBA in April and fined $2.5 million after taped racist remarks made in private were leaked to the media. He has vowed to fight the sale of the franchise and his wife’s claim that she is the sole trustee of the family trust that owns the Clippers.
Shelly Sterling submitted the emergency request for a hearing in a bid to reinforce her status as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust.
Last month, two neurologists found Donald Sterling to have Alzheimer’s disease, which triggered the clause transferring control of the trust that owns the team to Shelly Sterling.
According to the clause, Donald Sterling would not have standing to block what would be the record sale for an NBA team to former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. The deal was agreed to by Shelly Sterling and tentatively approved by the NBA.
Donald Sterling, who originally blessed the deal with Ballmer, has also sued the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver for at least $1 billion, alleging he was forced to sell the team due to a recording made illegally according to California law.
Sterling said in a statement released on Tuesday that he would proceed with his lawsuit against the league to protect Americans’ right to privacy and freedom of speech.
“We have to fight for the rights of all Americans,” Sterling said in the statement. “We have to fight these despicable monsters.”
Silver has maintained that an agreement struck with Shelly Sterling following the deal with Ballmer indemnifies the league against any legal action taken by her husband, so the Sterling Family Trust would have to pay any possible damages awarded to Donald Sterling.