Real estate tycoon and reality television personality Donald Trump has taken the stand this afternoon as he testifies in a trial at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago about a disputed condo deal at Trump Tower.
In the lawsuit the plaintiff is an elderly 87 year-old-mother of four who alleges that she bought two hotel unit condos as the result of a Trump marketing campaign that advertised revenue sharing and other financial perks for investors. After she made the purchase, billionaire Trump changed the purchase terms at the last minute.
Jacqueline Goldberg contends in her lawsuit a breach of contract and deceptive practices. She also alleges that Trump Tower changed the terms of the sales agreements after she had put down a deposit on the two hotel units in the riverfront high-rise at 401 N. Wabash Ave.
The lawsuit also alleges that Trump Tower backed off his advertised plans to let buyers of the hotel units share in some of the hotel revenue.
Goldberg deposited $516,000 on the hotel units as an investment because of that revenue-sharing plan and the other promised investment incentives. She decided not to complete the sale after the hotel changed the terms, according to the lawsuit. Goldberg is now seeking a return of her deposit and is suing for damages in excess of $500,000.
The lawyers in the case delivered opening statements on Monday after a jury was picked.
Goldberg’s attorney, Shelly Kulwin said “Trump totally changed the deal,” Kulwin maintained that Trump made all the development decisions himself at Trump Tower. “He was the sole and ultimate authority on everything Trump,” Kulwin added.
Donald Trump left the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse after an hour of fairly contentious testimony, giving reporters a thumbs up. “I love Chicago,” he called out. “It went well.”
He is due to return to the stand Wednesday morning.
Stephen Novack, Donald Trumps insists that 87 year-old Jacqueline Goldberg is an educated, astute financial planner and real estate developer who understood contracts and how to read financial documents. “She’s kind of what’s called an entrepreneur, and a successful one at that,” Novack said.
Novack said Goldberg knew from the beginning of the negotiations that the purchase agreements might change and had a way to back out of the deal. “She chose on her own to stay with those purchase agreements,” he added.
Donald Trump is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Trump’s extravagant lifestyle, outspoken manner, and role on the NBC reality show The Apprentice have made him a well-known celebrity who was number 14 on the 2012 Forbes Celebrity 100 list.
Recently Trump has been in the news, not because of possible real estate misconduct, but for his very public allegations about President Barack Obama not really being eligible for the Presidency.
Last year On October 24, 2012, after tweeting that he had a “big announcement”, that would be “bordering on gigantic” and that this announcement could “possibly” change the outcome of the presidential race, Trump revisited his suspicions of Obama’s citizenship, in spite of the theory having been proven false by a number of reliable sources. He then offered to donate $5 million to a charity of President Obama’s choice in exchange for the release of the President’s college and passport applications.
Perhaps now that he has something else to occupy him, he can relax a little on his “anti-Barack Obama” crusade.
Trump is due to return to the stand Wednesday morning.
By Michael Smith