Donald Sterling Sues Ex-Girlfriend, TMZ, for Phone Recordings that Cost Him Clippers Ownership

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The claim has to do with the recording of a telephone conversation he had with Stiviano involving disparaging remarks about black people. Those remarks ended up costing Sterling his ownership of the Clippers. Sterling says that the recordings caused damage to him on a "scale of unparalleled and unprecedented magnitude."

The recordings were released about the time Sterling’s wife Shelley accused Stiviano of being Sterling’s mistress. Stiviano says that Sterling consented to the recordings she made at the time the two of them were involved. Sterling says that the recordings were secretly made and provided to TMZ by Stiviano or someone on her behalf.

Federal law permits the recording of telephone calls and in-person conversations. In order for the recording to be legal, only one party to the conversation must give consent, thus permitting you to record your telephone conversation with another person. This is a one-party consent law. Eleven states, including California, have a two-party consent law, requiring both parties to a telephone conversation to agree to its being recorded.

TMZ has not commented on the lawsuit.

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