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Sterling Family: Son's 'Death is a Terrible Tragedy'

Scott Sterling, the son of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, was found dead late Tuesday on a couch in his Malibu apartment, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The family of Scott Sterling called their son's death a terrible tragedy in a statement released Wednesday.

Sterling, who is the son of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, was found dead Tuesday night on a couch at a unit in the Malibu Beach Villas apartment complex at 22660 Pacific Coast Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Sterling's death resulted from a possible drug overdose, but the cause will be confirmed through an autopsy, which is pending, the L.A. County Coroner's Office reported.

Donald and Shelly Sterling said their son had "fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes.''

"His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him,'' they said. "We sincerely appreciate the warm outpouring of sympathy and support from so many of our dear friends. At this time, we respectfully ask to be afforded the opportunity to mourn this loss in an appropriately private manner.''

Clippers President Andy Roeser said "today the thoughts and prayers of our organization go out to Donald T. and Shelly Sterling and their children Chris and Joanna, in the wake of this tragic loss. Scott was a friend to many in the Clippers' family and he will be greatly missed.''

The neighborhood outside the apartment, which was advertised as "ultra luxurious," was quiet Wednesday as some residents came and went.

"He was a kind and caring gentleman," a resident of the complex who wished to be unnamed told Malibu Patch.

Others asked about the half a dozen news vans lined up alongside Pacific Coast Highway, calling the news "sad."

Sterling's body was discovered by deputies who responded to calls from friends that Sterling had not been seen in days, the sheriff's department said.

Sterling made headlines in 1999 when he shot childhood friend Philip Scheid at the Beverly Hills home of Donald Sterling. According to police reports, Scheid was shot from behind with a 20-gauge shotgun, though Sterling claimed he fired in self defense when Scheid attacked him with a knife. Charges were never filed against Sterling, then 19.

R J January 02, 2013 at 05:03 PM
The only reason I wake up every morning is because I have been given another chance to do things right and to do the right things yet when the sun sets I look at my "how did I do report card" and I can assure you it's not a 4.0. This morning as I am blessed with another beautiful day and another chance to do the right thing I will send my deepest sympathy to the Sterling family for the loss of their son with the hope it provides them with at least some comfort. When a family loses a loved one due to a drug overdose, the loss is an exclamation mark of a cry for help that was never recognized. I like to think that judgement is influenced greatly by perception yet often times our judgement and perception of someone is clouded by deeply protected issues such a depression, that the one suffering prefers to hide them rather than ask for help. Let us not judge Scott for what ended up to be a tragedy for him and his loved ones, rather let us do the right thing and reach deep within our hearts and souls and extend our comfort the best way we can with the hope that the Sterling family will find some comfort.
Laney January 02, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Well said, RJ, however, I'm not certain I completely agree with the statement that an overdose is (always) an unrecognized cry for help. That would imply that loved ones never recognize and/or attempt to get others the help they need (and there would be no suicides, whether intentional or accidental). That being said, based on my own experiences with depression as well as having a bi-polar brother, I do agree that most people will never know the darkness I felt (10 years on meds) because of the sunny disposition I promoted. Meds saved my brother's life, and cost me 10 years of mine. My heart goes out to Scott's family. By the way, thank you for sharing your report card tip. Goals and daily accountability for my actions (and inactions) is my focus this year.
Alan Cunningham January 02, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out to The Sterling Family, We Are So Sorry For Your Loss; Vital Zuman Organic Farm Staff and Docents
R J January 02, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Laney thank you for your input reflecting your disagreeing with my point of view. Different points of view, such as yours, allows me to see other doors of opportunity that are open to understand better. Yours has certainly done that.
Andrew Karigan January 02, 2013 at 07:13 PM
My condolences to the Sterling family. I am very sorry for your loss. Sending you strength and peace during this painful time. Andrew Karigan
barbara Bassill January 02, 2013 at 09:17 PM
My heart goes out to the Sterling family. As everyone already said, loosing a loved on is most probably one of the most painful experiences in life. The Sterlings are in our thoughts and prayers and I will put them on the SRF prayer list. Deepest condolences and Light ahead during this very difficult time. The Bassill family
J. Flo January 03, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Sending deep sympathy and heartfelt condolences! For his family and friends, this loss is a tragedy beyond compare.
julie cohen January 03, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Condolences to the Sterling family. Sending prayers your way. The Cohen family
Laney January 03, 2013 at 06:13 AM
My apologies (and thanks) for allowing the use of this comment thread to respond, however, I don't know any other way...My thoughts exactly, RJ, I, too, learned from you today (and my report card was pretty good!)
Niles Akbar January 03, 2013 at 04:05 PM
It is almost a Shakespeare or Biblical story: all that wealth, youth, advantage, connections, influence can't shield one from the hand of fate.
steve soboroff January 03, 2013 at 04:12 PM
With sadness and sympathies to the Sterlings Steve Soboroff
Mei Ling January 03, 2013 at 04:21 PM
The statement is that it could have been from a drug overdose....insulin is a drug. Let us not assume so quickly that his death resulted from the wrong kind of drug. The family is devastated. Let them mourn in peace and when the autopsy comes in, then we will know the truth. To jump to the wrong conclusion only hurts the family more.
Susan Kraus January 03, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Type 1 diabetics sometimes die alone in their sleep due to low blood sugar. It's the nightmare of every parent of a type 1 child. My condolences to the Sterlings, however he died.
Jessica E. Davis January 03, 2013 at 11:41 PM
@Chester Infoman I had to delete your comment because of its insensitivity to this situation. The official cause of death has not been confirmed and the Sterling family has indicated their son had some health issues. Please be respectful of others.
Karen Bredice January 03, 2013 at 11:42 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you Shelly & Donald at this difficult time!
Ria Denver January 03, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Let me correct you, Mei Ling. As a type 1 diabetic since the age of five, I can assure you that insulin is not a drug, it's a hormone. And Susan is correct in saying that low blood sugar can cause death while sleeping but usually an insulin reaction (resulting from low sugar) will wake you up due to convulsions. Taking other drugs could have suppressed the convulsions so you don't wake up.
kelly January 12, 2013 at 03:35 AM
I can't believe this is everyone concern on how he died....people have lost a son, a brother, a friend, etc. Scott was a great friend and to many like family. He will be missed. I can't believe he's gone.

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