[LA FEATURE]Sterling Firestorm

LA FEATURE

Coverage of the NBA's move to oust Clippers owner Donald Sterling

Sterling Sparred With Attorney Over Definition of Kissing in Sexual Harassment Suit

A woman who worked for Sterling alleged he sought sexual favors for himself and others, sexualized the workplace with inappropriate actions and comments, and continued to do so even after some of the women complained

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Video obtained by NBC4 revealed Donald Sterling expressing difficulty remembering whether he had kissed women who worked for him during a testimony he gave on camera, along with other records of a 1996 sexual harassment lawsuit. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Friday, May 2, 2014. (Published Saturday, May 3, 2014)

    Donald Sterling expressed difficulty remembering whether he had kissed women who worked for him, he testified during a video deposition obtained by NBC4 along with other records of a 1996 sexual harassment lawsuit.

    "I may have. There's a very good chance I did," Sterling said in the video. "I probably did."

    This past week, the racial content of recorded comments made by Sterling to a young woman was cited by the NBA Commissioner in banning the Clippers owner from the league for life, the first time the league disciplined him.

    Commissioner Adam Silver said the league was aware of two previous legal actions against Sterling, but did not include the 1996 sexual harassment case among them.

    Christine Jasky, a woman who had worked for Sterling, alleged Sterling sought sexual favors for himself and others, sexualized the workplace with inappropriate actions and comments, and continued to do so even after some of the women complained.

    "I would feel uncomfortable because he would hug me and kiss me on the cheek and hold me by the hand, and stuff like that...I felt it was inappropriate," one woman said during her deposition.

    She also described a time having lunch with a co-worker named Bridget when Sterling approached.

    "She looked like a frightened animal trying to get out of his arms," he said.

    Sterling sparred with attorney Natasha Roit over the definition of kissing.

    Roit repeatedly defined it as putting his lips on any part of a woman's face. Sterling said he often gave kisses on the cheek as a greeting, as done in some European societies.

    Under questioning, one male employee said Sterling had never greeted him with a kiss,
    nor had he ever seen Sterling do so to any other male employees.

    The case ultimately was settled, evidently with a confidentiality clause. Jaksy's attorney Roit said she could not discuss the terms.

    The attorney who represented Sterling in the case, Jeffrey Lenkov, did not respond to NBC4's request for comment.

    Records show Sterling's attorney had sought a protective order sealing the depositions, but then Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohigian denied the motion.

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