In a new interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper airing Monday, Sterling said, "When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that. ... I don't know why the girl had me say those things.”
Cooper asked, "You're saying you were set up?"
Sterling responded, "Well, yes, I was baited. I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people."
The 80-year-old went on to say, "I'm not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt."
Sterling was recorded telling ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano not to publicly associate with black people, including Magic Johnson, and not to bring them to the Clippers games.
5 Ridiculous Things Donald Sterling's Ex-GF V. Stiviano Said
Since the audio recording was leaked (supposedly by a third party), Sterling, who is reportedly battling cancer, has been banned from the NBA, fined $2.5 million and could be forced to sell the Clippers.
Meanwhile, Sterling’s wife Shelly told ABC News’ Barbara Walters that she believes her husband is suffering from dementia.
"I -- in my opinion, I think he -- it's the onset of dementia," she said, adding that Sterling did not remember making the comments on the tape.
"I said, 'Well, this is the tape.' And he says, 'Hmm. I don't remember it,'" she claimed. "That's when I thought he had dementia."
Prior to the leaked tape, Shelly said she had never heard him make derogatory comments about black or Hispanic people. She also insisted, "I'm not a racist. I've never been a racist."
Shelly made it clear that she would “absolutely” fight to keep her share of the Clippers if asked to sell.