In LA Trial, Billionaire’s Kids Seek $100M in Retroactive Support
A 78-year-old billionaire who gave $20 million to a new law school is defending a lawsuit by two grown children who claim they are owed more than $100 million in retroactive child support.
Donald Bren’s children, 22-year-old Christie and 18-year-old David, say they should have received $400,000 a month in child support, instead of the average $10,000 a month paid by their father, the Los Angeles Times reports in a preview of the case. Their mother, Jennifer Gold, claims Bren violated oral promises to pay more; Bren claims written contracts governed, the Orange County Register reports. The suit also seeks damages for emotional distress for allegedly breaking a promise to take an active role in the children’s lives.
A lawyer for the children told Los Angeles jurors on Wednesday that Bren spent $4 million a month during the period in question on luxuries such as two California homes, an Idaho ranch, a yacht and five private jets, the Register says. Bren’s lawyer, on the other hand, said his client is a man who shines his own shoes, pumps his own gas and eschews chauffeurs, while working seven days a week, the Associated Press reports.
Gold spoke to Register while clutching a copy of Scott Turow’s novel Innocent. “It’s a question of what the law is,” Gold said. “That’s the issue here. I think that Christie and David are entitled to the same type of lifestyle that their [half-]siblings have.”