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Saturday
May032014

V. Stiviano Says Mask Helped Deal with Pain

ABC/ MATT PETIT(LOS ANGELES) --  V. Stiviano, the personal assistant of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, told ABC News' Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview that she wore a visor to cover her face because it made it "easier to mask the pain."

Stiviano was seen sporting the Daft Punk-esque visor outside her home last weekend.

"I'm hurting. I'm in pain," Stiviano told Walters when asked why she wore the visor on Friday. "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."

It was the first television interview for Stiviano since the NBA handed Sterling a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine on Tuesday for his racial remarks about African-Americans in a leaked audiotape recording released by TMZ. The NBA Board of Governors will vote on whether Sterling will be forced to sell the team.

Stiviano said she wanted Sterling to apologize for his remarks but added that she didn't believe he's a racist. She said that while she recorded the conversation and several others with Sterling, a friend leaked his rant.

Sterling, 80, has owned the Clippers since 1981. Sources told ESPN on Thursday that he's battling cancer.

Stiviano is also currently tangled in a legal battle with Sterling’s estranged wife, Rochelle Sterling.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio