"I -- in my opinion, I think he -- it's the onset of dementia," Shelly Sterling told ABC News' Barbara Walters today in an exclusive interview.
Sterling told Walters her husband said, "I don't remember saying that. I don't remember ever saying those things," after hearing the audiotape of him telling V. Stiviano not to promote her relationship with black people and not to bring them to Los Angeles Clippers games.
"I said, 'Well, this is the tape.' And he says, 'Hmm. I don't remember it,'" she added. "That's when I thought he had dementia."
She said she never heard him say derogatory things toward black or Hispanic people before she heard the tape, but she did not blame the incident on dementia.
Sterling, herself accused of making inflammatory remarks toward other races in the past, said she's never said any racist remarks either.
"I'm not a racist," she said. "I've never been a racist."
Sterling said that if the NBA tries to force her to sell her half of the Clippers, she would "absolutely" fight to keep her stake in the team.
The league announced Friday that former Citigroup chairman and current Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons has been named interim CEO of the team, but nothing concrete in terms of ownership or whether Shelly Sterling will be forced to sell her share of the team.