Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has made his first public comments since the release of a racist audio recording led to his lifetime ban from the NBA.
"I wish I had just paid her off," Sterling told DuJourmagazine, a Los Angeles lifestyle publication, speaking of V. Stiviano, the girlfriend to whom Sterling made the recorded comments.
The quote is the only one released thus far from what the magazine calls an exclusive discussion. Sterling told DuJour he only would do future interviews with Barbara Walters and the NBA.
Sterling had been silent Saturday, when the recordings were leaked by gossip website TMZ.com. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned him for life and promised to fight to force a sale of the Clippers in a news conference Tuesday.
The often-litigious owner still can take the NBA to court and drag his case out if three-quarters of the league's Board of Governors vote to force him to sell.
But he spoke first with DuJour, a high-end lifestyle magazine founded in 2012. The magazine is delivered to those who meet criteria of wealth.
"We have three million fully engaged Gilt members," founder Jason Binn, who interviewed Sterling, said in an interview with The New York Times about the magazine's launch.. "These are real shoppers spending hundreds of millions of dollars."
GALLERY: Donald Sterling through the years