Today V. Stiviano, Donald Sterling's “visor-wearing personal assistant,” the “unknown mystery brunette” whose “15 minutes of fame started ticking” when TMZ revealed tapes of her conversations with Clippers owner Sterling, made an appearance on Dr. Phil. And it was EPIC.
Forget Barbara Walters' soft-eyed gaze and gauzy questions designed to let a gal explain how she feels about things; Dr. Phil was more like a smart high school principal mowing through a pupil's dumb excuses and revealing the self-delusion behind them.
As for that self-delusion: Remember, this is a girl who told TMZ, “One day I will become president.” She also told Dr. Phil she's adopting two teenage kids.
Indeed, it's pretty clear, watching the surgery-altered Ms. Stiviano in action, that she's not as dumb as we think she is, but she's not as smart as she wants to be, either. She's either an exceptionally skillful cocktease or a golddigger without parallel, but she wants to be a sort of C-list Angelina Jolie – revered for her good deeds and hot body in equal measure. Her only truly honest moment in the interview was when the good doctor questioned what she'll do next. “You think I'm gonna get a movie deal?” she asked, and for a moment you could see the calculation that took a girl from a poor family in San Antonio to courtside tickets at Staples Center.
Here are the most delusional moments in her hourlong interview, which aired this afternoon on CBS Los Angeles.
5. “I was his caretaker, I was his mother. I did everything for this man for the last three years.”
V. Stiviano wants us to believe that she met Sterling through friends and, when she told him of her ambitions of going to law school, “He rose to the occasion and said, 'I'm a lawyer.'” Oh, and then he also mentioned he owned the Clippers.
Naturally she followed up to get advice on that whole legal thing, but he apparently didn't remember who she was and responded to her email by asking for a photo. “The request was a little weird to me, but it is L.A., so I said, 'OK, why not?'” He hired her and paid her off the books – she won't answer whether she paid taxes on what was ostensibly a salary – and that was that, even as they became as close as two people could be. She was not a lover, she claimed (despite repeated skeptical questions from Dr. Phil), but a beloved assistant, a surrogate daughter and mother all rolled into one. Who else did he know who could buy him socks at Ross Dress for Less? (Yes, she really name-dropped Ross.)
4. “Why would it be improper to accept gifts from a married man? I wasn't accepting gifts from a married man. I was accepting gifts from my boss.”
Stiviano repeatedly claimed that she couldn't understand why Shelly Sterling would be upset enough to sue her over Donald Sterling's gifts of a condo, a Bentley, two Ferraris and a Range Rover. “I don't even know why she would even file that lawsuit,” she simpered.
Her Instagram feed shows a publicity-savvy party girl who loves the good life, but in today's interview, she posed as a virginal naif. This wasn't sex, she claimed. Wasn't love. Asked why, on the famous tape where Sterling begged her not to hang out with black guys, she referenced the fact that Sterling was “in love” with her, she still played dumb.
“He's in love with me as a person, as a human being,” she said. “He fell in like with me just because I am who I am.”
A flash of the truth came later, when Dr. Phil questioned why Sterling would have told a friend she had a great body.
“I mean, look at my body,” she said. “I personally think I have a great, fabulous body.”
3. “I'm young. I'm innovative. I want to be a part of the solution as opposed to the cause. I want to help and I want to change the world.”
Stiviano claims she's adopting two teenage boys, for all the right reasons. It's not because adopting kids is the last desperate move of a celebrity clutching for their final moments of fame. Nope, she wants to be a part of the solution.
This should be a very healthy mother-son relationship, right?
2. “How would I know the paparazzi would follow me all the way into the 'hood?”
Since the scandal broke a few weeks ago, Stiviano has done everything but lie low. (In the words of Dr. Phil, “I see you in on roller skates in Daisy Duke cutoffs, with a color-coordinated welder's mask to match your jacket, out in front of the paparazzi, roller skating. … That looks like attention-getting behavior to me.”)
At one point, she even admitted to loving the attention: “I get to experience firsthand what it is to be a celebrity in L.A.” Yet when the paparazzi caught her riding a mechanical bull, she claimed she had no idea they would be there. Because who among us hasn't worn a visor and knee-high boots when riding a mechanical bull on Cinco de Mayo?
1. “Mr. Sterling is a very cool guy.”
Perhaps she's distraught at the gravy train ending and eager to get back on it. Perhaps, in her attempt to become a low-rent Angelina Jolie, she needs to justify spending three years of her time hanging out with a crass racist.
For whatever reason, V. Stiviano is intent on telling the world something that we all know is bullshit: Donald Sterling is a real peach. And that's either the biggest lie, or the grandest delusion, of them all.
See also: Donald Sterling's 6 Other Greatest Hits