Barbara Walters Leaving Television on her
Martin Schoeller for Variety

She may be two weeks away from retirement, but Barbara Walters is still working the phones.

Walters nabbed the first TV sit-down interview with V. Stiviano, the woman at the center of the racism controversy that has surrounded businessman and L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life and suffered sponsor defections from the team as a result of an audio recording hat surfaced last week on TMZ that featured Sterling making derogatory remarks about African-Americans.

Stiviano told Walters that she did not believe Sterling was racist, but then she suggested there were more revelations to come.

“There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one. This was one of very many,” she said. “Part of what the world heard was only 15 minutes. There’s a number of other hours that the world doesn’t know,” she said.

Stiviano also denies being Sterling’s girlfriend, describing herself as his “personal assistant.”

Walters interview aired Friday on ABC newsmagazine “20/20.” The veteran journo is scheduled to sign off from TV and her perch on ABC’s daytime series “The View” on May 16.

SEE ALSO: Barbara Walters on Her Retirement and Big Changes at ‘The View’ “

 

But the Stiviano sit-down reinforces the clout she has in convincing newsmakers to speak exclusively to her, and is a sign that she may jump back into the news fray from her retirement if opportunity for a big-get interview arises.

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