Let the record show that last week’s most surprising media scoop — New York City-based luxury magazine DuJour’s interview with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling — took the form of a short cell phone call. It was not recorded, and the interviewer did not take notes.
The New York Times on Sunday reported on the story behind the unlikely story. The newspaper spoke with DuJour CEO Jason Binn, who said he had resolved early last week to try to reach Sterling.
“He knows what I do and that I know a lot of people in L.A.,” Binn said, referring to Sterling. “I just called him and said, ‘It’s me, just checking in. If you want to talk, I’m around.’”
Binn did not hear back. But on Wednesday night, after leaving dinner at a high-priced Manhattan restaurant, Binn tried one more time. Sterling picked up. They spoke for 20 minutes.
“By time we were done, he said, ‘Jason, are we good? Got your story?’” Binn told the Times.
According to the Times, Binn waited until Thursday afternoon before discussing the details of the conversation with DuJour’s editor-in-chief, Nicole Vecchiarelli. They decided to run a short post with exactly one quote from Sterling — “I wish I had just paid her off,” the magazine quoted Sterling saying, referring to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, who recorded his now infamous racist comments. Those eight words were Sterling’s first public comment since the NBA announced its decision to ban him for life from the league.
“I don’t think Jason quite realized the magnitude of it,” Vecchiarelli told the Times.