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Woman, 87, loses civil suit to Trump

Jacqueline Goldberg, 87, leaves federal court in Chicago

Jacqueline Goldberg, 87, leaves federal court in Chicago on Thursday after the ruling. The Evanston, Ill., woman had accused real estate mogul Donald Trump of cheating her in a skyscraper condo deal. (May 23, 2013) Credit: AP

An 87-year-old woman Thursday lost a $6 million suit against billionaire Donald Trump over condo purchases in Chicago.

Jurors sided with the real estate mogul-turned-TV showman in a weeklong civil trial focused on Jacqueline Goldberg's claim that Trump cheated her in a bait-and-switch scheme.

The federal jury in Chicago returned with a finding in Trump's favor.

Goldberg, of Evanston, Ill., showed little emotion but her attorney, Shelly Kulwin, slumped over and buried his head on a courtroom table. Trump's attorney Stephen Novack smiled and nodded his head in gratitude at the jury.

The case pitted the suburban Chicago grandmother against a New Yorker who revels in his image as a big talker with big ideas. Many know him best for his catchphrase on his "Apprentice" TV show: "You're fired!"

In sarcasm-filled closings, Kulwin described Trump in stark, extreme terms -- as villainous and greedy.

"The thought of my grandma being in the same room with that guy. Yuck!" Kulwin boomed.

The dispute centered on the glitzy Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, one of several showcase towers Trump has named after himself elsewhere, including New York, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

Goldberg accused Trump of wooing her into buying two condos at $1 million apiece in the mid-2000s by dangling a promise of a share in building profits -- then reneging on the promise after she committed to buying.

At trial, Novack grappled with the portrayal of Goldberg as a former waitress and hatcheck girl who learned her values living through the Great Depression and working her way through college.

During the trial, Trump spent two days testifying himself, bragging about the quality of his developments, verbally sparring with an opposing attorney and drawing rebukes from the judge. Trump denied he ever cheated anyone.

In Novack's closing, he told jurors he also loved grandmothers, saying, "I happen to be married to one." But, he added, Goldberg was also a sophisticated, detail-oriented investor who signed a contract stipulating Trump could do what he did: cancel the profit-sharing plan anytime he saw fit.

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