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New Clips of the Donald Sterling Interview; Sterling Talks Race in America, Says Divorce Likely, Expresses Mixed Feelings About Adultery; Seven Wildfires Raging In San Diego Area

Aired May 14, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening, thank you for joining us. More of my exclusive interview tonight with embattled L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The part you have not heard from him as the backlash against him grows by the day.

In the wake of the interview with Sterling there has been talk of a possible player boycott led by Lebron James if Sterling is still the owner when the new season starts in the fall. In a few moments we'll hear from Roger Mason, Jr., the vice president of the National Basketball Players' Association. He'll try to set the record straight on what the players are exactly planning to do.

As you know, Sterling has been banned for life, fined $2.5 million for racist comments he made on that recording that was leaked on line. And today, there is another new recording that's just coming out where a person, believed to be Sterling, is talking about his relationship with V. Stiviano. That is also coming up later.

The story continues to gain momentum, believe it or not, partly because of the interviews that have aired on this program over the last two nights, with Sterling and then of course with Magic Johnson. Throughout the hour, you will hear parts of my interview with Donald Sterling that you've never heard before, including his thoughts on his estranged wife, Shelly, whether they're going to get divorced and what he thinks about racism in general in this country.

First, we want to get you quickly up to date on the firestorm Sterling's first interview has ignited.


COOPER (voice-over): Magic Johnson's response to Donald Sterling was widely praised for taking the high road with the controversial owner of the Clippers.

EARVIN "MAGIC" JOHNSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: So I was expecting at least an apology. And the American public wanted an apology. He finally did that. But this is -- it is sad. When I saw that interview, it is sad. It really is. I'm going to pray for this young man. I hope Donald can see the mistake that he has made and also the people he has hurt along the way.

COOPER: Johnson spoke after Sterling publicly attacked him in his one and only interview on Monday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This attack on Magic is crazy. He is messing with the wrong brother. And Magic is loved by everybody around the world.

COO[ER: Sterling was ostensibly apologizing for his racist remarks but ended up making things worse with this attack.

DONALD STERLING, OWNER, L.A. CLIPPERS: What kind of a guy goes to every city, he has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV and -- is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? Doesn't do anything.

COOPER: Reaction was swift. NBA commissioner Adam Silver quickly issued a statement which said quote, "I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper, and while magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him, that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by malicious and personal attack. The NBA board of governors is continuing with the process to remove Sterling as expeditiously as possible."

Former President Bill Clinton called Johnson after the interview and Johnson tweeted out his thanks to the president for his support.

NBA players also showed their support for Johnson. CNN's Rachel Nichols spoke with several players who said Sterling's remarks were the final straw.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS: The biggest shockwaves from players that I talked to today, they said, wait a minute, he insulted Magic Johnson again? He did that again? They can't believe that.

CIIOER: And it was not only Sterling's attack on Magic Johnson that surprised the players.

STERLING: I contend that they love me.

COOPER (on camera): You think they still love you?

STERLING: I do. I do.

COOPER: You believe the players of the Los Angeles Clippers --

STERLING: Absolutely.

COOPER (voice-over): Clipper star Chris Paul called Sterling's remarks quote, unfortunate.

CHRIS PAUL, L.A. CLIPPERS PLAYER: Yes, I don't know about all that. I mean, we're here, we're focused. I love my wife, my kids, my family, my teammates. But yes.

COOPER: Coach Doc Rivers said while he was not expecting anything from Sterling, he didn't think it was much of an apology. DOC RIVERS, L.A. CLIPPERS COACH: Right now I'm focused on our guys and being above all that. But that is fine, he is going to keep doing what he does. We have to keep doing our jobs.

COOPER: How the Sterling interview might affect his status as the Clippers owner remains to be seen but it is now part of that conversation. Yesterday evening, the NBA issued a statement that read, in part, "The advisory finance committee met again this afternoon via conference call. The committee discussed the recent media appearances by Donald Sterling and reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers' ownership. The committee will reconvene next week."


COOPER (on camera): One of the many things that struck me during the interview with Donald Sterling was how he seemed to really believe the Clippers love him or at least claimed that, that the other owners support him and that somehow he is going to maintain ownership of the team despite all that happened. Here we speak about that in a portion of the interview that was not aired until tonight.


COOPER: You believe you will be able to keep the team, though?


COOPER: Because the advertisers certainly --

STERLING: The advertisers are all coming back. Let's not be crazy. The fans will all come if you have a good team, if you don't have a good team --

COOPER: Even if you're the owner?

STERLING: What am I, a Frankenstein? What am I, some kind of an ogre? I'm a good person. I'm a warm person. I say hello to everybody who comes in, on the team.

COOPER: There are some players, though, who have talked about a boycott of the season --

STERLING: Well, that's talk. The media pushes that. Why would they do that if they get their salaries? They're going to play. I mean, one day they all love you and the next day you make a mistake and say something and suddenly they hate you? Is that the way it is?

What if a player said I don't like working for that Jew? What would we do? I wouldn't do anything. I would ask him why. Why? I want to make you happy. If you want more money, you know, more attention. More love?

COOPER: But you're not allowed to have any business dealings regarding the team.

STERLING: Well, maybe one day I will. Maybe that will --

COOPER: What is the path to that?

STERLING: I don't know. I guess I have to -- you know, ask them to look into their heart. You know? And maybe give me a chance. Give me another chance. I --

COOPER: Do you think the sponsors would come back if you were the owner of the team?

STERLING: Absolutely! The sponsors don't care about me. They love the players. Everybody loves the players.

COOPER: The sponsors started dropping off.

STERLING: Say that again.

COOPER: The sponsors started dropping off.

STERLING: I don't believe that!

COOPER: Well, it happened.

STERLING: And I really work with sponsors when I'm in the organization. Those sponsors, they love the players. And they love the NBA. And they will come back, but you have to kiss them a little bit and treat them with dignity. The sponsors have every right to be upset. They're trying to sell a product. And I just destroyed everything. You know?

COOPER: So why not for the good, then, of the team, for the good of your ex-wife who still could own 50 percent of the team, your family members who are still part owners of the team -- why not walk away from it? You would make a ton of money from what you bought the team for.

STERLING: Remember, we said money is not what I'm interested in.

COOPER: So why not walk away?

STERLING: I want to show all the people that are associated with basketball and the world I'm not a racist. When you ask me what I have in terms of rights, I think of the league. The league would give you everything if you're a good member. But if you're not a good member I don't think they want to give you anything. I got to maybe somehow make them believe I'm a good member who made a mistake. And I'm apologizing, and I'm asking for forgiveness.

Am I entitled to one mistake after 35 years? I mean, I love my league. I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It is a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again.

COOPER: Do you think the punishment that the NBA handed down, the $2.5 million fine, not having any business dealings, not being able to go to the stadium, is that fair or unfair? STERLING: Well, I feel it is a little bit harsh, you know. But what is the league supposed to do? They're in a storm. And a stupid owner has created all of these problems. They have to show that they're not going to stand for that. The league won't stand for that. They wouldn't stand for racism, I'm telling you. And I did it.

So -- is it harsh? Of course it is harsh. But it's not like I don't deserve -- I thought they were going to do more.

COOPER: What did you think they were going to do?

STERLING: I -- I don't know. I just thought that -- I'm embarrassed that I would cause them so much grief.

COOPER: You say it is a little harsh. Is it fair?

STERLING: Well, I don't know if it is fair. Maybe it's fair. I mean, for all the aggravation, all the embarrassment, all the humiliation, I caused them maybe it is fair.


COOPER: Well, fair or not, the NBA is in the process of forcing Sterling to sell the team, but the details are still being worked out so it doesn't seem like it's going to be a quick process. Now as I mentioned at the top of the program, there have been conflicting reports today about a player boycott led by Lebron James if Sterling is still at the helm when the new season starts in the fall. Roger Mason Jr. is the vice president of the National Basketball Players' Association. He joins me.

So Roger, I just want to clear up confusion. There was an interview you gave to Showtime and you said you'd spoken to your former teammate, Lebron James, about what he'd do if Donald Sterling was still the owner of the Clippers at the start of the next season. You said he told you that he wouldn't play if that were the case. And now you're saying he didn't actually tell you that. So what exactly did he say?

ROGER MASON, JR., VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS ASSOCATION: So I was using Lebron James as an example as I talk about many of our players in our league. We're unified and we're united and we want to do what is right. So I think Lebron James was saying, what many of our players are saying, there is no place for Sterling as an owner. But at no point did he specifically say he was going to boycott. I think he was being a leader and saying us, as NBA players, we're going to stand for what is right.

COOPER: Have you heard other players talk about a boycott? Do you think that is a real threat?

MASON: I have heard other players talk about not wanting to play. This notion of a boycott I think has gotten a little over-dramatized. Look, at the end of the day, we're very pleased with Commissioner Silver and what his stance been, what his punishment was, and then the process. COOPER: You know, it is interesting, I talked to Donald Sterling, who seems to be of the belief that his players on the Clippers still love him. That is actually what he said to me. And he believes that, even if he stayed as owner, they would continue to play, the sponsors would come back, that there is a path for him to retain ownership. I just want to play a little bit more of what he said then ask you about it..


COOPER: There are some players, though, who have talked about a boycott of the season --

STERLING: Well, that's talk. The media pushes that. Why would they do that if they get their salaries? They're going to play. I mean, one day they all love you and the next day you make a mistake and say something and suddenly they hate you? Is that the way it is?

What if a player said I don't like working for that Jew? What would we do? I wouldn't do anything. I would ask him why. Why? I want to make you happy. If you want more money, you know, more attention. More love?


COOPER: Is Donald Sterling under-estimating how much, at least, his players want him out of the league?

MASON: Well, you can't speak for people. And so, you know, the Clippers, they're trying to win playoff games. But what I will say is us as players, we forgive the man. So we don't hold a grudge. But at the same time, you got to do what is right. And there is no place in our society, there is no place in our game for racists.

COOPER: You know, I have heard people who cover the NBA who say that players are becoming more frustrated with the fact that the owners vote on whether or not to remove Donald Sterling, that it has not happened yet. Have you heard that frustration?

MASON: There is going to be frustration with everything. But we understand there is a process that has to happen. So, you know, we have been very pleased, like I mentioned, with Commissioner Silver and how fast and quickly he made a ruling on this. And now it is up to the owners to vote.

I saw yesterday with your interview with Magic he's expecting the owners to do the same thing. So we're sitting back and we're waiting on the league. And while there may be a little frustration, we understand there is a process.

COOPER: Do you see this ending up, though, with a long, legal battle? I mean, Donald Sterling is not clearly saying for sure whether or not he is going to fight it if he is removed. But he is certainly hinting that he might.

MASON: Well, you never know. And so he has got a history of being in many litigations. And so there is always that possibility. We're just going to have to wait and see.

COOPER: Have you heard from players how they feel about Shelly Sterling maintaining some form of ownership?

MASON: Yes, as you mentioned, I have a fiduciary responsibility as a union leader to speak for the players and many of our guys feel like the Sterlings overall, that ownership is no longer welcome. And I think that is the tone that Commissioner Silver's laid out there and we share his sentiment.

COOPER: Roger Mason, Jr., appreciate you being on, thank you so much.

MASON: No problem.

COOPER: Well, a quick reminder, make sure you set your DVRs so you can always watch 360 whenever you want. Throughout our interview, Donald Sterling, he repeatedly said he is not a racist. But what does he actually think about racism in general. Does he believe it exists in the United States? That part of the interview you haven't heard, next.


COOPER: Do you think that is a problem in America, racism? I mean, do you think --

STERLING: I don't think so. I think it is better than any other place in the world.


COOPER: Also ahead, Sterling's thoughts on the man who sued him, NBA great and former Clippers executive, Elgin Baylor, who told me he has no doubt Sterling is a racist.


COOPER: When we first aired my interview with Donald Sterling, his views on race got a lot of attention. Now, at one point during our conversation, he started to say something then he caught himself. Another time he kind of let it out.


STERLING: That's one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. And some of the African- Americans -- maybe I will get in trouble again -- they don't want to help anybody.


COOPER: That remark got a lot of attention for obvious reasons. It would be generous to call Mr. Sterling's views on race merely complicated, but we'll leave it at that and let you decide. He certainly had a lot to say on the subject you haven't heard. Take a look.


COOPER: Do you think that is a problem in America, racism? I mean, do you think --

STERLING: I don't think so. I think it is better than any other place in the world.

COOPER: You don't see it as a big problem here?

STERLING: I don't see it. I'm not, you know, an African-American. You know, take Judaism. I don't think the Jews have any problem. I mean, there are a couple of people that they killed that are Jews coming out of a synagogue, you remember all that. But in general, I think America handles everything well. Do you think there is a lot of prejudice here?

COOPER: I think there is -- yes, I think there is prejudices everywhere. But I do think there's different forms. There are institutional forms of prejudice. And there are stuff that -- biases that people have in their hearts.

STERLING: I don't know. In the legal profession, a guy comes in, you know, and he is a lawyer, I respect him. If he has done it and worked hard, and I wouldn't think he was any different than a white lawyer.

I don't think -- I think America has worked well with that. Maybe not as well as the African-Americans would like. But you know, I'm a Jew, I watch what is going on with us, too. I think it is better than it has ever been. Doesn't mean there is not you know, anti-Semitism. There is. A lot of it. Especially in the South.

But it doesn't matter. I like to help minorities. That is why I contribute $7 million to the Children's Hospital for Minorities. I have only paid a million down, but I owe the balance. And the United -- you know, the United College -- the United Negro College fund. I've been supporting them for 15 years. The NAACP. I have been supporting them every year.

I support minorities. God has been so good to me. I'm so -- if I'm talking too fast, I'm sorry. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. And so I want to give -- that is what my life is all about. Giving and helping wherever I can.


COOPER: Well, Donald Sterling's racist comments came as no surprise to long-time Clippers executive and NBA Hall-of-Famer Elgin Baylor. Baylor sued Donald Sterling five years ago alleging racist behavior that went back decades.

Now, I spoke with Elgin Baylor and his wife, Elaine, last week before my interview with Sterling. Look.


COOPER: I understand that -- I believe in your lawsuit, as well, you said that at some point Donald Sterling would bring women into the locker room and point out the black players.

ELGIN BAYLOR, FORMER L.A. CLIPPERS EXECUTIVE: Oh, he did it on many occasions.

COOPER: What would he say?

BAYLOR: Oh, look at those beautiful black bodies, that is what he would say.

COOPER: While the guys were half naked.

BAYLOR: And while the guys were in the shower and everything else. And on several occasions, I told him not to. The players were mad, they were upset about it. I told him on several occasions and he kept doing it. Eventually it stopped.

COOPER: Why do you think he is this way?

BAYLOR: Why? Why is he that way? I don't know. One thing that will probably get attention, I know that. He likes that attention.

COOPER: Do you think he is a racist?

BAYLOR: Of course he is, there is no doubt in my mind, now. At the time, I thought then, and I think now that he is. I think he is.


COOPER: When I spoke to Donald Sterling, I gave him a chance to respond to some of the things that Elgin Baylor had said. And I asked Sterling about accusations from then that he ran the team with what some have called, and Elgin Baylor in his lawsuit had called, a plantation mentality.


COOPER: It is not the first time you have been accused of that. As you know, Elgin Baylor accused you of that very same thing in the lawsuit back in 2009.

STERLING: When Elgin Baylor sued the league, the NBA, he said they created that, too. And then Elgin Baylor, when he lost against the NBA, then he sued me. Let's get it straight.

COOPER: But he did sue you saying --

STERLING: After he sued the league and lost and then he sued me and lost. I never said that.

COOPER: He said you wanted all black players and a Southern white coach.

STERLING: Elgin Baylor said I never said anything racial to him.

COOPER: That is correct. STERLING: OK. I loved the man, I respected the man. He worked for me for 23 years. Why didn't he say something in 23 years if he was not happy?

COOPER: So when he says that you had said you wanted all black players and a Southern white coach, is that true?

STERLING: Is that logical? Is it logical? You get a white coach? Do you have (ph) a black coach and African-American coach? I want the best of the best of the best of the best. Every owner wants that.

We have good owners in this league. I'm just telling you, they are the best. And I've humiliated them, and I feel so embarrassed by it. It'll never happen again, and I hope they find it in their heart to give me a little bit of something, I don't even know what. Just to forgive me.

COOPER: Baylor had also --

STERLING: But Baylor -- why do you take a player who worked for me for 23 years and you want to talk about that? Twenty-three years; he was 78 years old. And all they asked him to do, the true facts is to have somebody help him because he never selected a good player. We never had a good player. So when he was asked if somebody could help him, he walked off the job. That is not what I want to talk about.

COOPER: But I do want to give you the opportunity just to address all the things ---

STERLING: I don't want to -- Elgin Baylor is a wonderful man. And his wife is wonderful. And the years that I worked with him, I loved those years. And I used to travel --

COOPER: They say that you're a racist. They say you have a plantation mentality, that you bring women into the locker room and point out black players and say, "Look at their beautiful black bodies."

STERLING: Well, I don't think anybody's body is anymore beautiful than anybody else.

COOPER: So you wouldn't do that?

STERLING: I would bring some maybe if we won a game and there was some relative of one of the players. I would let them go in after they had dressed. Yes.

I guess -- Elgin Baylor felt the league should give him a bonus at the end of his career. And they should send him around to every team, and they should celebrate him. Elgin Baylor told me that he made the league.


COOPER: As always, you can find out more on the story and others at

Up next, more of the interview with Sterling. At one point he talked about why he has not been faithful to his wife in more than 50 years.


STERLING: But when you're so old, you don't think it is wrong anymore if you have a little bit of fun. You don't have much time. If you have a little bit of fun, you can't do what you did before and nobody expects -- but you want to be cared for. Everybody wants to be cared for.


COOPER: Also tonight, an update on the seven wildfires raging right now in and around San Diego that have forced evacuations. A fire emergency is now in effect. We'll have the latest from the battle lines.


COOPER: Well, Donald Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly, has vowed to fight the NBA to hold her stake in the Los Angeles Clippers. Now separated, they've been married for more than 50 years. Here is what Shelly Sterling told Barbara Walters about her husband's racist comments and his mental health.


SHELLY STERLING, DONALD STERLING'S WIFE: It was horrible when I heard it. I mean, it was just degrading and it made me sick to hear it. But as far as a racist, I don't think really he is a racist.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: Have you discussed these remarks at all with your husband?

SHELLY STERLING: He saw the tape. And he said I don't remember saying that. I don't remember ever saying those things.

WALTERS: What do you think then?

SHELLY STERLING: That's when I thought he has dementia.


COOPER: Shelly Sterling also told Walters that she plans to divorce her husband. I'm certainly not a medical expert; I can tell you Donald Sterling seemed competent and in control of his mental faculties when I interviewed him. He remembered things he was talking about, he went back to things he wanted to finish. If he hadn't, we wouldn't have done the interview.

I do want to play some more of that interview, another part you have not heard. Here is what he told me when I asked him about his wife, Shelly, her future with the Clippers and their future.


COOPER: Do you think your wife, Shelly, should also be removed as an owner?

STERLING: Do I think she should what?

COOPER: Should she be able to maintain her ownership stake? The team is owned by a trust.

STERLING: Well, my wife, Shelly and I are in the process of a divorce. You know, she has worked with me for 58 years, my wife, one wife, 58 years. And she loved the team and always helped me with everything. If for some reason I can't have the team, I think that she should have her interests -- I mean, she didn't do anything. I brought all of this on her. The poor girl. I don't know how she can live and deal with this. Thank God she has wonderful attorneys, wonderful.

COOPER: But --

STERLING: And they will protect her.

COOPER: But you are going to divorce?

STERLING: Yes, I think we'll divorce. I think she has already filed. I guess, I was bad committing all of those terrible -- I don't even want to say it. But you know -- people say how do you commit adultery? Well, you justify things, you say every man in Paris or France has a mistress. It may make you smile, but when you're so old, you don't think it is wrong to have a little bit of fun you don't have much time. You can't do what you did before but you want to be cared for. Everybody wants to be cared for. I made such a mistake. I thought that woman really cared for me.

COOPER: If your wife maintained her stake in the team would you be able to influence events through her?

STERLING: Probably not. If they want to negotiate, they would probably deal with me separately. She -- she has every right to you know, be upset with me. I have destroyed her life. I like her attorneys. They're all very good. They all want it to be separate. They want her to divorce me forever and sever the relationship.


COOPER: Well, there are certainly a lot of legal issues to impact. Joining me now is CNN legal analyst, Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor, and Mark Geragos, a criminal defense attorney. Mark, let me start off with you. I mean, his views on race, his views on adultery, well, obviously, we'll get to that, but just in terms of the ownership of the team, how do you see this playing out?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think exactly what he said is exactly -- believe it or not, what Sunny and I have been saying all along. I think the league is going to force him out and she will retain an interest. She will not be in control. The way it will play out is they will find an ownership group that will retain ownership. She will have a passive interest. You think you will find an ownership group that is diverse and anchored in Los Angeles. And that is going to be the end of that. I just do not see in any way, shape or form how they're going to be able to force her out in this case, absent some kind of tape that gets leaked.

COOPER: Sunny, do you agree with that?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I find myself agreeing with Mark Geragos these days and it is like shocking to me. I think she is on pretty strong legal footing here, unless there are some agreements we haven't seen. Perhaps the family trust looks a certain way. Perhaps there is a franchise agreement know that looks a certain way. I think there are some factors missing but from what we know it will be difficult to force her out.

COOPER: Even though a lot of players say look, all the Sterlings have to go. It has to be a clean slate.

GERAGOS: Well, I understand that. But remember what the people are positioning themselves with. Remember the NBA, after she came out and said she wanted to remain as an owner, didn't do anything, and then Adam Silver was quoted, the NBA constitution. Well, that is great, Mr. Silver, but the problem is we have a U.S. Constitution and it protects people's property interests and things of that nature. The players are in a similar situation because the players have contracts. The players are admirable for taking a stand.

And I believe if I would advise them I would advise them to take a stand. However, I'm not going to advise them and I don't think their 5 percent and 10 percent crowd will advise them to violate their contracts and get sued or anything else. That having been said, I don't think this has been handled correctly by the NBA and I think that it will be. If they neutralize her and put her in a position where she retains an interest, but she has no voice.

Meaning there is a controlling interest. If that controlling interest, meaning who and what I believe it is going to be I don't think the players are going to care. I think the players will embrace the next iteration of the Clipper's, which is going to be a diverse owner group that is firmly rooted in Los Angeles.

HOSTIN: And they've embraced her right, Mark? I mean, she has been at the games, Doc Rivers made it very clear that they seem to have a good relationship. Adam Silver in a misstep said this punishment only applies to Donald Sterling. So when you look at, everything, I have to agree with you, even though it kills me, Mark.

GERAGOS: I know it is painful for you.

HOSTIN: It is so painful.

COOPER: What do you think Donald Sterling should do now? I mean, beyond the legal realm. Does he apologize --

HOSTIN: He can't apologize, I mean, what good is it going to do at this point?

GERAGOS: It is going to do him no good. In some ways he is crazy like a fox. I think there are tax ramifications and he knows it and he gets better tax relief if he is forced out as opposed to a voluntary sale. He knows if he is forced out he can claim a less capital gains, I don't want to get into the nuance of taxes. But what will happen is he will negotiate the best possible deal. Who is going to cry for it? He is going to get for his half share well in excess of half a billion dollars. This is not exactly somebody who we're going to pass around the plate for. He is going walk away from this with $500 million as a floor.

COOPER: As he says in the interview he doesn't care about money. It is not about money for him. He is a giver.

GERAGOS: Do you remember what senator --

HOSTIN: I mean, he is 80 years old, how much is he going to give and who is it going to give it to?

GERAGOS: I don't remember if it was Dale Bumpers or Senator Pryor during the impeachment hearings with Clinton, who said when they tell you it is not about money reach for your wallet.

COOPER: He donated to a lot of groups and he could easily start to rehabilitate himself, by starting to give hundreds of millions.

HOSTIN: I don't think that happens, Anderson. I think he has sort of become the poster child of the nuanced racism that we have today. He obviously thinks he is not a racist, that they all have white hoods. That is not true. We all know it. The NBA can't forgive him. I don't think the world can forgive him because he has to be made an example at this point.

GERAGOS: You know what is funny, when we were doing all the Trayvon Martin stuff --

HOSTIN: Here you go.

GERAGOS: No, no, I used to say you hear people talking like this all the time. When sunny says nuanced racism, I agree with you. There is a nuanced racism. It is something I hear all the time. It is not something that is shocking --

HOSTIN: Mark Geragos just agreed with me, we should save the tape.

COOPER: We will. Sunny, it's good to have you on. Mark Geragos as well. Up next, in a new leaked recording purportedly of Donald Sterling talking to reportedly a friend although I don't know what kind of friend records you and sells the tape. He slams V. Stiviano and calls her a monster, how that stacks up against his public statements.

Plus, breaking news in the battle of the contained now, several wildfires, in Southern California, we'll have details ahead.


COOPER: Tonight, there is a new audio recording to factor into the Donald Sterling story, words that give yet another window into what he was saying in private when he is not in front of the camera, and how it compares to his public statements, specifically the ones he made to me when we spoke.

Well, CNN can't confirm the voice in the new audiotape is without a doubt it is sterling's, he is not denying it. When I sat down with him he had surprisingly kind words for V. Stiviano. He sounded more hurt and outraged. It is what he said when the cameras were rolling, but not what he always said about her on tape. Here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Could this be Donald Sterling on tape again? This time turning the tables on his mistress, V. Stiviano, whose original recording got Sterling in hot water. On the tape obtained by "The Daily Mail," a man sounding like the L.A. Clippers owner tells somebody that V. is the racist. Listen.

STERLING: She said I will never go out with a black guy. She said do you know what it is to wake up every morning and wish you were white? She tried so hard to make her skin white and she does it every night.

KAYE: It is a far different tone from Sterling's conversation earlier this week, where in tears he says he made the racist comments. No mention of Stiviano's.

STERLING: Everybody wants to be cared for. I made such a mistake. I thought that woman really cared for me. I'm the guilty one for uttering those terrible ugly words that I don't mean.

KAYE: And remember when Anderson asked him this about Stiviano?

COOPER: Do you believe she was trying to extort money from you in any way?

STERLING: She is a good person. She is a beautiful person.

KAYE: Now listen to what he told his friend about how Stiviano treats her family.

STERLING: The family is fabulous. Fabulous, honest as the day is long. Poor, you know, and she treats them with a whip. I mean, she orders them around, and flips them in a room. She is mean. Mean. Mean. She is a monster, she call her the monster.

KAYE: Monster or not, when Anderson asked Sterling about his relationship with Stiviano he clammed up.

STERLING: I don't really want to talk about her.

KAYE (on camera): But he had plenty to say about her and the couple's sex life to his friend on the phone, sharing how he met Stiviano at the Super Bowl, claiming she came to see him two months later.

STERLING: She said I want to be your friend. I said I don't need any friends and she said yes, you need me. So she takes me into a room and she does her thing, and then she says do you want to go for a walk? I said OK.

KAYE (voice-over): He says the relationship continued.

STERLING: This chick is something else. She was -- an animal.

KAYE: Sterling also talked to his friend about Magic Johnson.

STERLING: I respect him. I like him. The fact he is black means nothing.

KAYE: He likes him? You might not have guessed that from how he talked about him to Anderson.

STERLING: He made love to every girl in every city in America. And he has got AIDS, did he do any business? Did he help anybody in South L.A.?

COOPER: Well, I think he actually has HIV, not full blown AIDS.

STERLING: Is that somebody we want to respect and tell other kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself.


COOPER: What does Stiviano's lawyer say about all this?

KAYE: We got a letter, she says she is proud of her heritage, despite what has happened she still cares very deeply for Donald.

COOPER: Did anybody surprise you on the recordings?

KAYE: It is sort of like the two tale of Donalds, he was very expressive about Magic Johnson, but wouldn't talk to his friend about him on the phone. One thing that struck me, when you asked if V. Stiviano had tried to extort money or tried to get money. He sort of danced around the question. But with his friend on the phone, he said Stiviano said, quote, I'm going to take you down. So that was a lot more forthcoming than before. It just depends on what you get from him on any given day.

COOPER: Randi, appreciate it. Just ahead, imagine seeing this from your car. Take a look.

Wall of flames, one of five wildfires in and around San Diego. There are a lot of evacuations. We'll have breaking news on that ahead.

Plus, grief and outrage in Turkey after the deadliest mining disaster that the country has faced. Dozens are missing.


COOPER: There is breaking news out of Southern California tonight where seven wildfires are raging in the San Diego area forcing evacuations of at least 23,000 homes, businesses and schools. Also evacuated a nuclear power plant, part of the U.S. Marine base, and the Legoland Amusement Park. And there is a dangerous fight for those on the front lines obviously.

CNN's Paul Vercammen joins us from one of the hot spots in Carlsbad, California. Thousands of people told to evacuate there. Firefighters are having a very tough time I understand. What is the latest?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here, Anderson, this is in Carlsbad. This neighborhood is completely evacuated. You can see the fire engines are pulling out of here. That is because they need to shift resources. If you can look over my left shoulder you will see another fire. This one in San Marcos, in San Diego County. So in all, five fires are burning, as you said, 23,000 people are evacuated because of these fires that were pushed along by strong winds, very high temperatures and humidity below 10 percent -- Anderson.

COOPER: This early in the season. This has to be partly because of the drought along with the winds?

VERCAMMEN: Absolutely, I spoke with some fire officials, they are very concerned about almost all of California and part of Nevada. These winds playing a huge factor in all of these, they died down a little bit. But the fires were hopped scotching all over the place. As you pointed out closing schools, Legoland, evacuating entire neighborhoods, causing Interstate 5 at one point to be closed down at one time. These winds really wreaked havoc. This is May, this is early for San Diego County.

COOPER: Anything going to change with the winds to give the firefighters a break in fighting this thing?

VERCAMMEN: It might be small, but it could be enough. We'll see the temperatures drop about 5 degrees tomorrow. They reached up to about 100 today and they say the winds will die down and should give them enough of a break. But as you pointed out a fire coming up over the ridge. They have their hands full. And we saw them do a very good job defending these houses. We say 20 buildings burned down. We saw them take dramatic steps -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Paul Vercammen, appreciate it. Thanks. Let's take a live look at the pictures, it is really just incredible here. You really get a sense of -- you see how fast the wind is moving, the smoke off the flames and obviously taking embers, sometimes the embers can go for great distances and settle in another place and start new fires.

That is some of the difficulties obviously as we're looking there as we pull out of that. We'll continue to follow this at throughout the evening and obviously they will battle these flames all through the night. Up next, the desperate race against time to save dozens of miners still trashed underground after a deadly explosion.


COOPER: Breaking news tonight, an update on a story that we have been bringing you for months and proof that the government is paying attention, President Obama appointing a committee to oversee the V.A. Medical facilities. That V.A. members died after waiting to get treatment. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Neighbors will be temporarily assigned to the V.A. to review its wait policies. In a statement, the president said the V.A. needs to do more to ensure quality care for our vets. Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Pamela Brown has a 360 Bulletin -- Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Anderson, in Turkey, protests happening in the wake of the country's deadliest mining accident. There was a fire deep inside the coal mine there. 88 workers made it out alive but at least 274 are dead with dozens still missing.

And the World Health Organization warning that the respiratory deadly virus, MARS, is spreading, one patient who worked in Saudi Arabia is recovering, just like the first patient who recovered.

And in upstate, New York, two boys were seriously injured when a gust of wind blew up the inflated house they were playing in. The authorities say the inflatable was properly secured to the ground.

And from Bakersfield, California, a 5-year-old boy is riding his bike when a neighbor's dog attacks biting his leg. Get this, the boy's cat came to the rescue and fought off the bad pooch, the boy needed stitches, and called his cat a hero.

COOPER: Might become a cat person after that. Pamela, thank you very much. That does it for us, we'll see you at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, thanks for joining us. "CNN TONIGHT" starts now.