- A judge allowed lawyers for investors suing Trump to view the unseen footage, The Daily Beast reported.
- The investors accused Trump and his children of promoting a multi-level marketing company.
- They say they invested in the company per their advice, and lost thousands of dollars.
A group of attorneys representing investors suing Donald Trump and his children are allowed to view previously-unseen footage from “Celebrity Apprentice,” a New York federal judge ruled this week.
In a ruling Tuesday, obtained by The Daily Beast, US District Judge Lorna G. Schofield ordered that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the studio that owns the footage, should make the tapes available for the attorneys to view at a secure location. MGM had resisted releasing the footage to be viewed by the attorneys.
The order related to a lawsuit filed in 2018 by four plaintiffs who alleged that Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump used their celebrity status to promote American Communications Network (ACN), a company accused of running a multi-level-marketing scam.
The plaintiffs said the investment cost them thousands of dollars, with one saying she invested $4,600 into the company but made just $38, as Insider’s Yelena Dzhanova reported last year.
They claimed that promotion of the company by members of the Trump family on “Celebrity Apprentice” and in other statements led them to falsely believe that the company was credible, and to invest money in it.
Donald Trump hosted the hit reality show “The Apprentice” and its celebrity contestant spin-off, “Celebrity Apprentice,” before launching his political career, and his children Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump would frequently appear as guests and judges.
According to the plaintiffs, the Trump family was paid millions by ANC to promote the company, and failed to perform due diligence checks on how it operated.
The company charged people $499 to sell cellphones and other products that the plaintiffs said secured only a minimal income. The company has denied accusations that it’s a pyramid scheme.
The case has been mired in delays, and the Trump family in June unsuccessfully sought to move the case from a class action lawsuit into arbitration, a legal maneuver that would have meant evidence was shielded from the public, Reuters reported.
In analysis of Trump’s tax statements published last year, The New York Times found that he had been paid $8.8 million by ACN between 2005 and 2015.
Last year, the Trump Organization told Insider that the lawsuit was a politically motivated attack on Trump, who served one term as president after his election in 2016.
ACN cofounder Robert Stevanovski told Insider last year that the company had told investors that Trump had been paid for promoting ACN.
Legal representatives for the Trump family, ACN, and the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Original posted at www.businessinsider.com