A woman at the center of the Trump University lawsuit wants to drop out of the case because she’s tired of being publicly attacked by The Donald.
Tarla Makaeff, a Southern California yoga instructor, has been fighting Trump in court for six years and now she wants out of the case, saying Donald and his lawyers have put her “through the wringer,” according to CNN.
“(Tarla) wants her life back without living in fear of being disparaged by Trump on national television.”
At a campaign rally in Arkansas last month, Donald called her a “horrible, horrible witness,” then this week he described her as “Disgraceful” on Twitter, according to the Chicago Tribune. Trump’s disgraceful comment was retweeted 3,200 times by his followers.
Trump University students say they were pressured into writing good reviews https://t.co/yxUb1PwWOp
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) March 11, 2016
Makaeff says she’s had enough of the public attacks and wants out.
The two have tangled in court before. Donald sued Tarla for $1 million in damages claiming defamation, which she says caused her anxiety about her finances. Makaeff won that case and was eventually awarded $798,779 in legal fees.
She’s part of the class action lawsuit alleging Trump University scammed thousands of students with fake promises of real estate success and claims The Donald handpicked the school’s instructors to teach his business secrets.
There are three lawsuits against the university: two brought by former students and one filed by the state of New York.
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) March 9, 2016
Although the fees paid by university students are small compared to Donald’s wealth, the case has become a thorny issue for Trump on the campaign trail as he fights for the Republican nomination.
Trump’s lawyers don’t want Makaeff to drop out because they’ve built their case around plans to attack and discredit her in court, according to CNN.
“Makaeff’s participation in this case, particularly as a live trial witness, is essential to the trial strategy and defense defendants have been developing for almost six years.”
Makaeff’s lawyer’s, however, says that argument “is illogical to the point of being nearly incomprehensible,” according to Yahoo News.
The judge allowed two other plaintiffs to withdraw from the case earlier this year.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) March 9, 2016
Makaeff spent a total of $60,000 for two seminars at Trump University and then sued the school in April, 2010.
Donald’s attorneys argued she rated the university’s instructors highly in her school surveys. Tarla’s attorneys, however, argued she was unaware of the university’s false advertising and didn’t want to upset anyone who might help her new real estate career.
Makaeff isn’t the only student to regret giving Trump University instructors high scores. A New York Times report shows students were pressured to rate their teachers highly by university employees. Robert Guillo, another Trump University student, who sought a refund, said he was harassed into changing his instructor’s scores.
“It’s absolutely a con. The role of the evaluations were a defense against any legal actions. They anticipated those actions.”
— BGR.com (@BGR) March 8, 2016
A federal judge agreed with Tarla’s argument during Trump’s defamation lawsuit against her, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“As the recent Ponzi-scheme scandals involving onetime financial luminaries like Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford demonstrate, victims of con artists often sing the praises of their victimizers until the moment they realize they have been fleeced.”
No trial date has been set in the Trump University case, but a pretrial conference has been scheduled for May 6 and The Donald is listed as a defense witness who may testify.
What do you think? Should Tarla Makaeff be allowed to drop out of the Trump University lawsuit?
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)