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Sterling marriage 'stress' at issue as LA Clippers trial nears end

Published on Jul 24, 2014 10:37 AM
This April 21, 2014 file photo shows Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attending the NBA playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. -- PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's bid to block the US$2 billion (S$2.5 billion) sale of the NBA team in a probate trial entered its final stretch on Wednesday when his attorneys sought to prove his estranged wife improperly seized control of the franchise.

Sterling's attorneys called only two witnesses during the emotionally charged trial that will determine whether the 80-year-old real estate billionaire's wife had the authority to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

A neurologist called by Sterling's attorneys testified that Sterling, who has been banned by the NBA for racist remarks, was under undue stress from his wife Shelly Sterling, 79, while taking the mental exams that declared him incapable of managing his business affairs.

"There is a stress in the relationship between Mr and Mrs Sterling, and you wouldn't want that stress to impact a mental status investigation," neurologist Jeffrey Cummings told Los Angeles Superior Court.

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