Shelly Sterling, the wife of embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, has engaged crisis PR specialist GF Bunting as she navigates the spotlight and fights to keep a stake in the basketball franchise.
Bunting is the Los Angeles firm of LA Times and Sitrick and Company veteran Glenn Bunting and has advised the high-powered PR defense of nutritional products maker Herbalife.
Bunting also previously worked with Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell.
Sterling, who is separated from her husband, told ABC News on May 11 that she plans to fight the NBA's decision to take the Clippers away from the family. She also said she will eventually seek a divorce from the radioactive Sterling.
Shelly Sterling has worked to distance herself from her husband's racist rant since it was released via TMZ.com in late April. "I am not a racist," she said in a statement immediately after the recording went public. "I never have been, I never will be. The team is the most important thing to my family." But an April 30 LA Times piece noted a 2009 deposition that accused Shelly Sterling of using racial language critical of black and Latino tenants of her husband's apartment buildings.
The NBA said Shelly Sterling's stake in the team would automatically terminate with her husband's, based on the league's constitution.
Donald Sterling, meanwhile, has been widely panned for his two-part interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper May 12-13. The LA Times reported that Sterling did not have advisors on hand during the CNN interview.