‘Apprentice’ Tapes Helping Trump Deposition Plan, Judge Told
Lawyers’ Review of Trump Reality Show Tapes Hits Covid Snag
(Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for investors in a troubled multilevel marketing company promoted for years by Donald Trump said a long-sought review of unaired footage from his “Celebrity Apprentice” reality-TV show has bolstered their plan to depose the former president in April.
Investors in ACN Opportunity LLC, which Trump endorsed for a decade in exchange for millions of dollars in reimbursements, won access to MGM’s studio in Hollywood to review the tapes as part of their suit claiming Trump ripped them off by promoting bogus products he didn’t really believe in.
“We already have identified multiple pieces of relevant footage which will serve as the basis for questioning at depositions,” attorney Roberta Kaplan said in the letter Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan.
Kaplan didn’t elaborate on what they have found so far. She’s previously said she would review the tapes for signs that Trump said or did things behind the scenes that contradict his claims or his belief in the products.
The investors must complete the depositions of Trump, as well as Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, before April 29, Kaplan said.
The suit alleges Trump for years promoted bogus products including a “doomed” desktop video phone sold by ACN, which he said would “literally revolutionize the way we communicate.” Trump has denied wrongdoing and called his ACN claims “puffery” that reasonable investors wouldn’t rely on.
Kaplan’s team of five lawyers and staff only watched about 15% of the necessary footage over four days last week before taking a break, according to the letter. She asked the judge to reconsider an earlier decision denying their request to make a copy of the footage instead of watching it on-site at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, now that two lawyers on the team tested positive for Covid-19.
The case is Doe v. Trump Corp., 18-cv-9936, U.S.District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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