Billionaire Donald Bren Left Children 'Very Angry and Very Hurt' After Trial, Ex Girlfriend Says

Donald Bren does not have to pay adult children extra millions, jury rules.

ByABC News via logo
August 19, 2010, 1:50 PM

Aug. 30, 2010— -- The ex-girlfriend of billionaire Donald Bren said the lawsuit waged to get her adult children millions in back child support was "not about greed" but about broken promises.

Jennifer Gold, whose children have vowed to appeal a jury's ruling in favor of Bren, told "Good Morning America" today that her 18-year-old son and 22-year-old daughter were devastated by Bren's court testimony that he never considered them a family.

"It was quite cruel," she said. "They're very angry and very hurt."

The children, Christie Alexis Bren and David Leroy Bren, had sued Bren for $400,000 a month retroactive to the day they were born, saying the $130 million payout was commensurate with their father's lifestyle.

"It's not really about the money, it's about the rights of the children," Gold said. "It's about what their birthright is."

Gold, who initiated the lawsuit in 2003 on behalf of her children, who were minors at the time, insisted that in addition to four legal contracts signed promising living expenses and college educations for the children, Bren had also verbally vowed to be a part of their lives.

"It's not about greed," she said. "It's actually about protecting their rights according to his promises."

She said the last time Bren spent any measurable amount of time with their children was when Christie Bren was 9 years old and David Bren was 5.

Donald Bren and his attorney declined to comment. Bren, chairman of the Irvine Co., has an estimated net worth of $12 billion. He is known as a generous philanthropist and political donor.

Bren, No. 16 on the Forbes list of America's richest people, was not in the courtroom last week as the jury returned its nine-three verdict, stating that he had not made the children or their mother, his ex-girlfriend, any false promises.

Bren testified during court proceedings in Los Angeles that he believed he had already more than adequately provided for the two children he fathered with his former Gold in the 1980s by paying for their health care and education, and providing cash for an estimated total of $9 million in their lifetimes.

"I feel for the two children," Bren testified, "but I believe I have provided for them."

"We weren't married, we weren't a family," he said in front of his children. "I never told her I loved her."

Gold told "Good Morning America" that she believed Bren's testimony was "completely lies."