Real estate magnate says elderly woman suing him concocted bait-and-switch story to get a non-refundable deposit back. Kim Vatis reports.
Federal Judge Amy St. Eve on Wednesday had enough of "the Donald" in court, scolding both the billionaire and the plaintiff's lawyer in a Chicago courtroom.
"This is not a boxing ring," she said, accusing Donald Trump of "dancing around the questions" and attorney Shelly Kulwin of rolling his eyes.
Trump returned to the stand for the second day during a trial involving the sale of two units inside his downtown Chicago high-rise building. Trump is fighting allegations he conned 87-year-old Jacqueline Goldberg into buying condos at Trump Tower by promising her a cut of the profit and then backing out of the deal.
Trump's testimony was prickly as he and Kulwin battled to speak. Trump continued making comments out of the line of questioning, noting "the hotel is doing very well" and "the people are extremely happy who have their units."
At one point Kulwin, who spent the morning asking questions about Trump's involvement in marketing, told him to slow down.
Judge St. Eve put a stop to it during a 10-minute break. "Do you think the jury likes this?" she asked.
"You're wasting their time," she told Trump. "Listen to the questions asked."
She told Kulwin "to control yourself" and said he was making the situation worse by rolling his eyes and asking compound questions.
A day earlier Trump testified he was pretty hands off when it came to the development of the tower and just delegated responsibilities to his employees. Kulwin suggested Trump is too detailed-oriented to not have known the finer details of the property.
During part of the hour-long testimony, Trump boasted about the tower and how he raised funding for it in a down economy, as well as what he called his good reputation.
"I don't want to be braggadocios," he said, "I build great buildings."
Goldberg says she bought the two condos in exchange for a cut of hotel profits. The properties were supposed to be a part of a revenue-sharing opportunity offered by Trump Tower, she said, but the her lawsuit claims the terms of the agreement were changed by the time the tower opened in 2008 and she was denied a deposit refund.
Trump's lawyers have called the situation buyer's remorse.
Kulwin shot back Tuesday during the real estate mogul's testimony, scoffing as Trump went on about his track record in business. At one point attorney Shelly Kulwin accused him of working infomercials into testimony and not answering questions.
Goldberg's lawsuit seeks the $500,000 deposit for the condos.