As Kevin noted, an L.A. jury wouldn't buy into the argument by billionaire Donald Bren's two grown children that they're entitled to $134 million in retroactive child support. Jurors deliberated only two and a half hours this morning before finding that Bren did not make false oral promises to ex-girlfriend Jennifer McKay Gold. Vote was 9-3 (civil trials don't need a unanimous vote). From the OC Register:
"I just didn't see enough evidence of any promise," juror Oshin Bogossian, 28, said outside court after the verdict was read shortly after noon. The other 11 jurors rushed out of the courtroom, declining to comment. Bogossian said jurors never got into detailed discussions about the case or the enormous amounts of money being thrown around because the verdict was reached so quickly.
Bren's attorney advised his client to not be in the courtroom when the verdict was read so that the real estate mogul could avoid reporters. As it was, the trial provided way more up close and personal moments than the reclusive Bren was probably comfortable with - stuff like whether he knew his ex-girlfriend was using contraceptives when they did it. Plaintiff attorney Hillel Chodos said he would appeal, noting that jurors weren't allowed to hear about 90 percent of the evidence against Bren.
John Quinn, Bren's lead trial attorney, told jurors in closing arguments that the fraud claim was a brazen attempt at a money grab by his children, who already enjoyed a privileged upbringing in Beverly Hills that included private schools, international vacations, tennis and piano lessons, and tutors. Both David and Christie Bren children also received luxury cars from their father when they were old enough to drive. Chodos, however, said Donald Bren has lived "like a maharajah," with two California homes, a New York apartment, a Sun Valley ranch, two yachts and five private jets, and that his children had the legal right to a similar lifestyle.