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Scott Sterling, son of Clippers billionaire owner Donald Sterling, found dead in Malibu 'of possible overdose'

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By Helen Pow

PUBLISHED: 10:09 EST, 2 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:04 EST, 2 January 2013

Overdose: Scott Sterling, 32, pictured, was found dead after an apparent overdose

Overdose: Scott Sterling, 32, pictured, was found dead after an apparent overdose

The son of billionaire Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been found dead at a home in Malibu.

Detectives discovered the body of Scott Sterling, 32, at around 11:29 p.m. on New Year's Day after they were called to the property on Pacific Coast Highway.

Authorities suspect he died of an overdose, though an autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Sterling had not been seen for at least two days and was alone when found by officers at the apartment, which property records show was owned by his father.

It will be several weeks before a cause of death is determined, pending toxicology tests, police said.

KTLA.com reported that Sterling had a drug problem and had been in and out of rehab. Neighbors told the TV station that he had said he was trying to get clean. He also suffered diabetes, which could have been a factor in his death.

It was not immediately known who reported the death to police.

Scott Sterling made headlines in 1999, when he shot his 19-year-old childhood friend, Philip Scheid, who he claimed attacked him with a knife.

The incident, which was reportedly to do with an actress both teens were interested in, happened at Donald Sterling's home on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, though neither he nor his wife were home at the time.

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Crime scene: Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers were investigating on Wednesday at the Malibu apartment, pictured, where Sterling's body was found

Crime scene: Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers were still investigating on Wednesday at the Malibu apartment, pictured, where Sterling's body was found

However, the 77-year-old was caught up in the shooting, with prosecutors citing the transcript of a phone call in which he seemingly attempted to intimidate or influence a detective.

More than a year after the incident, prosecutors decided not to file charges, saying the victim was not credible, according to KTLA.com.

The result frustrated police as medical records showed that Scheid was shot from behind from at least 15 feet away, yet Sterling claimed self-defense.

'No rational person would entertain the possibility of his story being true,' Beverly Hills Det. Sgt. Jack Douglas wrote in a memo to prosecutors.

Donald Sterling is a real estate giant with $1.9 billion in assets, according to Forbes.

He got into the basketball business in 1981, when he paid $12.7 million for the San Diego Clippers and two years later moved the team to Los Angeles.

Death: The son of billionaire Clippers owner Donald Sterling, pictured, has been found dead at a home in Malibu

Death: The son of billionaire Clippers owner Donald Sterling, pictured, has been found dead at a home in Malibu

Clippers: Donald Sterling, pictured right, bought the San Diego Clippers in 1981 and in 1984 moved them to LA

Clippers: Donald Sterling, pictured right, bought the San Diego Clippers in 1981 and in 1984 moved them to LA

The team has enjoyed little success ever since, but it currently owns the best record in the NBA and became just the third squad in league history to complete an undefeated month in December.

Apart from his ownership of the Clippers, the older Sterling has made the news for numerous sexual harassment court cases and has also been sued for discrimination by tenants at one of the 150 buildings he owns across Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas.

In 2003, 19 tenants at the Ardmore Apartments in Beverly Hills and the nonprofit Housing Rights Center brought a discrimination lawsuit against him, according to ESPN.

According to a testimony from a former property supervisor, Sterling was on a mission to evict or push out any tenants that didn't 'fit his image.'

Home: Sterling's apartment, shown here from the back, belonged to his father, according to property records

Home: Sterling's apartment, shown here from the back, belonged to his father, according to property records

Crime scene: Detectives discovered the body of Scott Sterling, 32, at an apartment on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, pictured

Crime scene: Detectives discovered Scott Sterling's body at an apartment on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, pictured

That meant blacks, Mexican-Americans, children whom he called 'brats' and government-housing-subsidy recipients.

Sterling refused to do repairs for black tenants and harassed them with surprise inspections, threatening residents with eviction for alleged violations of building rules.

He refused to fix the apartment of an elderly blind woman after it flooded. The woman asked for compensation for her ruined belongings, to which, according to testimony, Sterling responded: 'Is she one of those black people that stink? I am not going to do that. Just evict the bitch.'

The dispute ended with a settlement in 2005, which, according to the judge, was the largest ever obtained in such a case.

In 1996, a former employee named Christine Jaksy sued Sterling for sexual harassment.

The two sides reached a confidential settlement but according to testimony Jaksy gave under oath, Sterling touched her in ways that made her uncomfortable and asked her to visit friends of his for sex. Sterling also repeatedly ordered her to find massage therapists to service him sexually.

In another case, he was taken to court by a prostitute he had given a $1 million apartment to before taking it back.

'When you pay a woman for sex, you are not together with her,' Sterling testified in 2003, according to ESPN. 'You're paying her for a few moments to use her body for sex. Is it clear? Is it clear?'

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