The Real Deal New York

Donald Trump’s litigious leanings dissected

March 22, 2013 03:00PM

Real estate mogul Donald Trump has filed a slew of lawsuits over the past decade, and the Atlantic has rounded up a list of seven noteworthy examples. Though the Donald is occasionally on the receiving end of real estate-related litigation, his forays into court more frequently fixate on other people’s less than glowing descriptions of the bombastic businessman.

More recently, Trump sued Bill Maher after the comedian promised on “The Tonight Show” to give Trump $5 million if he could show that his father was not an orangutan. The salvo was a reference to Trump’s pre-election call for President Obama to release his personal records in exchange for a $5 million charitable donation (as well as a jab at Trump’s hair color).

Regardless, Trump sent Maher a copy of his birth certificate, but Maher still hasn’t paid up. “He has not responded, and the reason he hasn’t responded is his lawyers probably tell him, ‘You’ve got yourself a problem,'” Trump told the Atlantic.

In 2006, Trump sued author Timothy O’Brien for understating Trump’s net worth. O’Brien’s book “Trump Nation” mentions that three people close to the Donald peg his wealth between $150 million and $250 million. Trump said he told O’Brien the amount was actually between $4 billion and $6 billion. Trump charged that the lowball estimate harmed his personal reputation and cost him certain business deals. However, the suit was dismissed in 2009, and dismissed again on appeal two years later.

In the real estate arena, Trump sued Deutsche Bank, Fortress Investment Group and a collection of smaller lenders in 2008 relating to the financing of a Chicago hotel and condominium development. A total of $40 million for a construction loan came due that November, which Trump pledged to pay, but he asked for an extension, citing the recession. Deutsche Bank refused, and Trump sued, alleging predatory lending practices and blaming the bank for $3 billion in damages. Then Deutsche Bank countersued to collect on the $40 million. But both sides reached in agreement two years later under which the term of the loan was extended by five years. [Atlantic]Zachary Kussin