V. Stiviano, the personal assistant of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, isn't his mistress. No, she's his “silly rabbit.”
Stiviano spoke to ABC News’ Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview, shedding light on her relationship with the 81 year old.
Stiviano also discussed perceived misconceptions about her role in the leak of the recording and what she thinks of the backlash that Sterling has faced for his racial remarks about African-Americans.
Read some excerpts from the interview:
On Her Relationship with Sterling
Stiviano said the biggest misconception about her is that she is Sterling's mistress, instead saying she's his personal assistant.
“I’m Mr. Sterling’s right-hand arm man. I’m Mr. Sterling’s everything. I’m his confidant, his best friend, his silly rabbit,” said Stiviano.
When pressed by Walters to explain just what being a “silly rabbit” entails, Stiviano laughed.
“That’s what I call myself. I joke around and I make him laugh. I do things that some people find very silly,” said Stiviano. “Sometimes people can’t understand.”
She’s Not In Love With Him
When Walters asked Stiviano if she was in love with Sterling, Stiviano said no.
“I love him. I love him like a father figure. I love him like, just like a father figure,” she said.
Whether Donald Sterling is a Racist
When asked by Walters if she thinks Sterling is a racist, Stiviano said no.
“I don’t believe it in my heart,” said Stiviano. “I think the things he says are not what he feels. Anyone can say anything in the heat of the moment.”
Although Stiviano admitted she had heard Sterling make offensive comments regarding race before, she maintained he was not racist.
“I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than from the one I am. I think he was brought up to believe those things … segregation, whites and blacks,” said Stiviano. “Through his actions, he’s shown he’s not a racist. Through his actions, he’s shown to be a generous and kind man.”
On Sterling’s State of Mind
“Confused, I think he feels very alone. Not truly supported by those around him,” Stiviano told Walters.
Although Stiviano told Walters that she thinks Sterling should apologize for his comments, she doesn’t know if he will.
“Only God knows,” she said.
Why She Wore the Famous Visor
Stiviano explained that her now famous headwear was a way to hide from intense media scrutiny of the last week.
“I'm hurting. I'm in pain,” Stiviano said. “It hurts to see someone that you care about hurting. It hurts to see people speculate, assume, say – throw darts at you when they don't know you, when they don't know your story, when they don't know the truth – all based on hearsay and assumptions. It hurts. It's easier to mask the pain.”
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