Trump University is no joke.
The for-profit education scam—which was operated out of hotel ballrooms—centered on business honcho and reality TV star, Donald Trump, who promised to share his real estate secrets. As it turned out, Trump University wasn’t an actual university and didn’t feature much input from Trump besides promotional materials and snazzy videos preaching “success.”
Before it was shut down in 2010, TrumpU shattered the lives of thousands of student-victims.
Yep, I got suckered out of a lot of money—I’m embarrassed to say how much—and ended up suing Trump personally in 2013, serving as lead plaintiff in one of two federal class-action lawsuits. At the time, Trump’s oft-teased political ambitions seemed like a pipe dream.
With the legal saga still ongoing two years later, Trump decided to run for president, leaving me locked in a court battle against the potential leader of the free world. When the Trump University lawsuits threatened to derail his race for the White House, Trump defaulted to his corrupt impulses to pollute and undermine the rule of law, paving his illegitimate path to the presidency.
Trump vowed to never settle the cases: “I’m not a settler.” But weeks ahead of trial, Mr. Never-Settler, then the president-elect, ended up agreeing to a $25 million settlement, the most expensive legal defeat of his career.
All these years later, TrumpU seems quaint—but in fact, it foreshadowed the devastation, bloodshed, and corruption that defined Trump’s presidency. He operated the federal government similarly to Trump University by stocking Washington with his “hand-picked experts,” misinforming the public with a flurry of lies, tricking unsuspecting people into losing everything, then spending years avoiding accountability for his criminal activity.
As lead plaintiff against Donald Trump, I witnessed a secret conversation in December 2015 between Trump and his attorney that reflected Trump’s corrupt intent, his impulse to do anything and attack whomever he believed was a roadblock. During that hot-mic conversation, Trump showed his tendency to speak in code. Directives were easy to miss to the untrained ear, but they represented subliminal calls to action to his supporters and enablers. His not-so-veiled language to a mob in Washington on January 6, 2021 incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Fueling the deadly uprising—a stain on our country’s democracy—reflected an extension of the tactics he used throughout the Trump University ordeal.
This memoir reveals never-before-shared details of the legal saga that come from private conversations, notes, and recollections. I’ve also obtained fresh interviews with some of the key people associated with the Trump University legal battle. Their quotes are interspersed throughout the book.
I aimed to present this material in an entertaining, thoughtful, and courageous manner. I strove to tell this story—the story that Donald Trump never wanted you to learn—as truthfully and unflinchingly as possible.
I wasn’t involved in national politics when I sued Donald Trump. I only hoped to right a wrong for thousands of scammed students and get our money back. I didn’t expect to find myself stuck in a battle of wills with the man who would become President of the United States.
As with so much in Donald Trump’s professional life, Trump University began with promises and lies—one giant con. . .