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Unauthorized tapes can lead to fame and fortune. Kim Kardashian’s unauthorized sex tape paid off with a hit E! TV show and a $5 Million settlement. In similar fashion, billionaire Donald Sterling’s unauthorized racist remarks tape likely tripled the sales price of his Clippers franchise, may result in a multi-million dollar legal settlement from the National Basketball Association and will intensify his appeal amongst female admirers. Did Sterling and mistress V. Stivano intentionally leak the tape?

Prior to her 2007 sex tape release, Kardashian was a closet organizer to the stars and little known to the public. This changed rapidly after Kardashian, taking a cue from friend Paris Hilton, starred in a sex tape with Ray J. Norwood, singer Brandy’s brother. There are multiple reports that the sex tape release was a carefully calculated undertaking, completed with Kardashian’s full consent and to her extraordinary benefit. Kris Humphries, Kardashian’s ex-husband, believed that Kardashian’s mother Kris Jenner “not only directed Kim to shoot her sex tape , but to re-shoot because Kris J didn’t think the first one was pretty enough.” The sex tape went on to gross over $50 million, with Kardashian earning a cut of each sale. More importantly, her sex tape notoriety led to a hit E! TV show, a Playboy layout, endorsements and her recent marriage to Kanye West.

For decades, Sterling was known to the public as the Scrooge-like owner of the Clippers, a woebegone franchise which dwelled at the bottom of the NBA’s Western Conference. He holds the record for the largest housing discrimination settlement in the United States, paying $2.725 Million to settle Justice Department allegations that he refused to rent to African Americans, Hispanics and families with children. Even with the Clippers’ improvement in recent years under the leadership of point guard Chris Paul, Sterling’s reputation mostly remained that of a miser, prejudiced landlord, wily businessman and, to a lesser degree, one with a penchant for cavorting with younger women. A decade before the recent revelations, Sterling testified that “he regularly paid a Beverly Hills woman (Alexandra Castro) for sex, describing her as a $500-a-trick “freak” with whom he coupled “all over my building, in my bathroom, upstairs, in the corner, in the elevator.” Ten years later, he describes his recent lover V. Stivano as an “animal in bed.”

With a seemingly poor public image already in place, adding racist remarks to his repertoire may well have been worthwhile for Sterling. The media hysteria which followed TMZ’s release of the tape, the public outrage and the NBA’s fine plus lifetime ban sent America’s wealthy elite into a tizzy. Soon, Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen, Sean Combs, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Matt Damon, Snoop Dogg, Oscar De La Hoya, Magic Johnson, Grant Hill and others started jockeying for position to fork over big bucks to buy the Clippers. The Sacramento Kings sold for $534 Million in 2013 and the Milwaukee Bucks fetched $550 Million earlier in 2014. However, neither sale benefited from the massive media frenzy which Sterling and V. Stivano ignited. Sterling bought the Clippers for $12.5 Million in 1981 and Forbes estimated their value at $575 Million earlier in 2014, yet the team ultimately drew a high bid of an eye-popping $2 Billion from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Sterling is not apparently satiated with the $2 Billion sale of the Clippers. He is refusing to pay the $2.5 Million fine assessed by the NBA and has filed a $1 Billion lawsuit against the NBA. Sterling has been down this path before: in 1984, the NBA fined him $25 Million for moving the Clippers from San Diego to Los Angeles without the league’s permission. Sterling countersued for $100 Million and eventually agreed to pay $6 Million. At some point, the league is likely to dig into their coffers to pay Sterling an “undisclosed” amount to entice him to complete the $2 Billion sale, shut up and go away.

As with Kardashian, Sterling’s allure to the opposite sex is presumably rising with the release of the tape. Hybristophilia, according to Wikipedia, “is a paraphilia of the predatory type in which sexual arousal, facilitation, and attainment of orgasm are responsive to and contingent upon being with a partner known to have committed an outrage…” “Milwaukee Cannibal” Jeffrey Dahmer, who rose to fame as a serial killer and sex offender, reportedly had amorous women sending him letters, money and other gifts during his time in prison. In a like manner, dozens of impassioned groupies would flock to court hearings to admire “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, an avowed Satanist, serial killer, rapist and burglar. Ultimately, Ramirez wed one of his groupies in prison, where he was serving thirteen life sentences. Similarly, women may find themselves drawn not only to Sterling’s wealth and power, but to his newfound public persona as a bad-boy and perpetrator of an “outrage”. Whether motivated to share in the media spotlight or by a belief that they can reform Sterling, women in droves are likely to seek out Sterling to offer their charms.

Donald Sterling colluding with V. Stivano to release the racist remarks tape for their mutual benefit is speculation at this time. “Whatever people might think of him, he’s a damn shrewd, smart businessman,” said E. Gregory Hookstratten, a Beverly Hills lawyer, agent and former courtroom adversary. Just as Kardashian’s unauthorized sex tape success eclipsed that of Paris Hilton’s, Sterling will reap rewards from his unauthorized tape which will vastly outstrip Kardashian’s. Unauthorized tapes can lead to fame and fortune or, in Sterling’s case, magnify an existing fame and fortune. Is Sterling lucky that this has played out to his benefit, or was he “damn shrewd”, calculating and strategic in executing his own version of Kardashian’s sex tape playbook?