Why The Woman in Donald Sterling’s Alleged Racist Tape Changed Her Name

PHOTO: V. Stiviano goes for a one block roller skate ride on April 29, 2014, the day it is announced that Donald Sterling is banned from the NBA.
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The woman on the receiving end of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist rant is V. Stiviano – but she wasn’t always.

Born Maria Vanessa Perez, Stiviano legally changed her name in Los Angeles in August 2010.

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Stiviano, 31, who describes herself as black and Mexican in the leaked tapes, told the court she wanted a name change because she felt she hadn’t “yet been fully accepted because of my race.”

PHOTO: In this Dec. 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, third right, sits with V. Stiviano, left, as they watch the Clippers play a game in Los Angeles.
Danny Moloshok/AP Photo
PHOTO: In this Dec. 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, third right, sits with V. Stiviano, left, as they watch the Clippers play a game in Los Angeles.

Her petition was approved and the usual court fees were waived.

Coincidentally, her discussion with the man alleged to be Sterling that resulted in the Clippers' owner being banned from the NBA was about race as Sterling chastised her for posing with black men in photos posted on social media.

The woman with the one-letter moniker has an active presence online, posting glamorous snapshots of her modeling shoots, trips abroad and pricey handbags.

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