LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling allegedly threatened the life of his estranged wife’s attorney by shouting over the phone, “I am going to take you out, O’Donnell!” according to documents filed Thursday in a Los Angeles probate court.
The attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said he took the remarks as a death threat.
When asked for a response, Donald Sterling’s attorney, Max Blecher, said “Mr. Sterling means no harm and he just has a short fuse.”
Sterling’s wife, Shelly, also a Clippers co-owner, is seeking a court protection order for O’Donnell and at least two physicians who earlier certified Donald Sterling as mentally incapacitated.
The two physicians are witnesses in a July probate court trial that was initiated by Shelly Sterling, who is asking a judge to uphold her negotiated sale of the NBA team for $2 billion despite her husband’s objections.
The NBA ordered the sale of the team after Donald Sterling’s recorded racist remarks to a companion were made public.
Attorneys for Donald Sterling told CNN they plan to oppose the motion for a protective order.
Shelly Sterling’s maneuver to seek a probate court trial in July comes as three physicians say her estranged husband, Donald, 80, is mentally incapacitated, O’Donnell has said. Court papers say her husband shows early Alzheimer’s or other brain disease.
But Donald Sterling allegedly left “threatening voicemail messages last week” for two of the physicians, Dr. James Edward Spar and Dr. Meril S. Platzer, who earlier examined Sterling and deemed him incapacitated, according to Shelly Sterling’s legal documents filed in court.
Donald Sterling’s message to Platzer stated, “I’m gonna see that you lose your license” and “I’m going to sue you for a large sum, I guarantee you,” court papers said.
Donald Sterling left a profanity-laced message for Spar with threats to “have you lose your license” and “get you fired” and “have your insurance company call me,” according to documents.
Donald Sterling’s voicemail to Spar also stated, “I’ll show you what I think of you when I see you in court!” according to court papers.
Another attorney for Donald Sterling, Bobby Samini, then sent a letter to each of the two physicians that accused them of being “part of a conspiracy” and threatening them with litigation seeking “damages for your illegal conduct,” according to documents filed by Shelly Sterling’s attorneys.
The documents said Samini demanded that the doctors stop communicating with anyone other than Donald Sterling about his medical condition.
When asked about Thursday’s legal filings, Samini told reporters that the public release of medical information is a distressing experience.
“He was upset his medical records were disseminated,” Samini said.
The two physicians who examined Donald Sterling didn’t have his permission to talk to third parties, Samini said.
Speaking about Donald Sterling’s overall reaction, Samini stated: “I was shocked by how tempered he maintained himself.”
Shelly Sterling recently reached an agreement with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, which is owned by a family trust, for $2 billion.
A Los Angeles probate court will hold a four-day trial on the proposed sale to Ballmer, beginning July 7. Shelly Sterling is asking the court to uphold her deal with Ballmer.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned the Clippers’ co-owner for life and fined him $2.5 million after the comments went public. Sterling responded by suing the NBA for $1 billion.
The real estate mogul bought the Los Angeles Clippers in 1981 for about $12 million.