- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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Shelly Sterling is seeking a court order of protection for her, her lawyer and witnesses, such as the doctors who evaluated Donald Sterling, from harassment by her estranged husband and his lawyers, according to a request filed Thursday.
The filing claims that on June 9, Donald Sterling called Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, threatened lawsuits and stated, "I am going to take you out, O'Donnell." The filing says O'Donnell understood that to be a death threat.
The document also alleges statements by Donald Sterling threatening the licenses of the doctors and a letter from one of his attorneys claiming the physicians are part of a conspiracy. Shelly Sterling and her attorneys argue it is an attempt by Donald Sterling and his lawyers to threaten, intimidate and harass witnesses who will be called in the probate court hearing July 7-10.
That hearing was scheduled after an emergency petition to the court last week by Shelly Sterling to evaluate the actions she took to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for a record $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Shelly Sterling has argued for an expeditious court ruling on her authority to sell the Clippers because the sale needs to close no later than Sept. 15 or the NBA will resume termination proceedings against Donald Sterling for racist remarks he made to former assistant V. Stiviano, which were published by TMZ.
Shelly Sterling became sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, when two neurologists evaluated Donald Sterling and determined he had a form of dementia consistent with Alzheimer's disease that incapacitated him from making decisions about his business and legal affairs.
Donald Sterling has since challenged that diagnosis and her authority to sell the franchise. On June 9, his lawyers filed a motion to revoke the terms of the family trust.
According to court records obtained by ESPN.com, the purchase agreement between Ballmer and Shelly Sterling holds that either Donald Sterling must consent to the sale or a court must validate her authority to act as the sole trustee.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
5mMichael C. Wright