The nature of his relationship with Jennifer McKay Gold is at the heart of a fraud case brought against him by his two out-of-wedlock children. Bren, the billionaire chairman of the Irvine Co., says it wasn't love. Gold had a different take. The two kids, ages 22 and 18, allege in a lawsuit that the nearly $3 million they received from their old man fell short of what Bren owed them. How short? Well, they're seeking $400,000 per month in damages, or around $134 million. Bren says he never promised to be a parent, adding that words of love were never exchanged with Gold. He described his relationship with Gold and the children as "unconventional" (tell me something I don't know!). From the OC Register:
Bren acknowledged sending the several cards and notes that jurors were shown Wednesday. One note sent on Christmas said, "Love ya --- Merry Merry, Donald Bren." A card Bren sent Gold on Valentine's Day read, in part: "I really do care in my own way." He signed another card, "My love to you, Leroy." Leroy is Bren's middle name. Another read, "Much love on Mother's Day. Donald." Bren testified that the notes indicated his "affection" for Gold but not love.
When Gold was asked her reaction to Bren's testimony, she said: "It's pretty shocking to me. I'm extremely disappointed. I'm beyond words, to tell you the truth." They're looking to wrap up testimony today.
Photo: Jennifer Gold and son David at the courthouse. (OC Register)