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By now, even non-sports fans know who Donald Sterling is:

He’s the bigoted billionaire who owns the Los Angeles Clippers and who doesn’t believe a respectable white person should be seen in public with an African-American.

But what about V. Stiviano, the woman who taped many conversations with Sterling and who is at the center of this race-based scandal? Who the heck is this person?!?

Only 31, Stiviano was born Maria Vanessa Perez.


She spent years telling folks that she served as Sterling’s “archivist,” denying talk that she was the 80-year old’s girlfriend.

But TMZ has obtained court documents – filed this month in conjunction with a lawsuit against Stiviano, in which Sterling’s wife accuses her of duping the owner out of millions of dollars – that tell a different story.

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In these legal papers, Stiviano admits that she’s been involved personally with Sterling for years.

The relationship is undefined, but Stiviano says it was “neither [a] hidden, closeted, nor a clandestine ‘affair’ at any time,” adding it was “open notorious, obvious and long standing.”

V. Stiviano also refers to herself as a prop to show off Sterling’s “sexual prowess.”

And, in the end apparently, also a prop to show off his extreme racism.

Sterling and Stiviano are reportedly working on a settlement that will stop the leaking of these damaging recordings.

Insiders say  Stiviano is in possession of hundreds of hours worth of tapes, each depicting Donald Sterling as an awful human being, and that she’s willing to accept money in exchange for keeping the rest quiet.