Don’t Knock V. Stiviano’s Gold-Digging Hustle

She Matters: The woman at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal isn’t selling herself short.

Los Angeles Cilppers owner Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the AT&T Center May 19, 2013, in San Antonio Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I don’t knock the hustle. Not really.  

My only real beef with “gold digging” isn’t that women do it but that so many sell themselves short for a price far less than gold. Too many suffer through someone they’re not remotely interested in, as well as mediocre treatment for bags, shoes, maybe some rent money and vacations, all of which are depreciating items. When a guy gets bored with the arrangement, way too many paper-chasing women pack up their designer goods that are worth pennies on the dollar at resale and go back to where they came from to look for the next trick.

This is not the way it’s supposed to be done. If you’re going to chase paper, you’re supposed to catch it and keep it. In the end, you’re supposed to be set and secure, with enough money to make more money (the real purpose of money, which everyone forgets or wasn’t taught) so that tricking is your one-time come-up, not your way of getting by for the foreseeable future. It’s supposed to be a strategy, not a lifestyle.

If your come-up plan is to chase men with cash and offer a fair exchange, so be it. But take lessons from Stiviano, who is playing chess, not checkers. She will wrap up this messy situation with a $1.8 million appreciating asset (the duplex) and at least a few million dollars in her account—in addition to the nearly quarter-million already sitting there—to buy her continued silence. She and Sterling both played. She’s about to get paid. Call her a gold digger all you want. But don’t say it like it’s a bad thing.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Twitter.

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