A U.S. District Court has signed off on a $25 million settlement between President Donald Trump’s Trump University and a number of former students who said that Trump’s “school” ripped them off. Plaintiffs in the case will get back roughly 90 percent of what they paid to attend the for-profit Trump Wealth Institute, which charged as much as $35,000 in tuition for a single program, and whose sales materials invoked “the rollercoaster of emotion” to persuade potential customers to go into debt to pay for classes.
For his part, Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and made it clear that he only settled the lawsuit because he won the election, calling it “The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency.” He’s expressed his confidence that he’d have won at trial, despite also suggesting that the judge in the case, Gonzalo Curiel, was biased against him due to his Hispanic heritage.
The only hiccup in the settlement, oddly enough, came from one of the people about to get most of their money back, with plaintiff Sherri Simpson arguing that she should be allowed to opt out of the class-action suit so that she can sue Trump personally. Simpson, apparently, is looking for more than just money: “For him to go out there and say, well, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong,’ it’s disgusting,” she said. “I want an apology.” Patrick Coughlin, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the suit, politely suggested that Simpson might want to stop dreaming of a fantasy land ruled over by a sincerely contrite Donald Trump, and just take the money, saying, “What she is looking for is an apology, and you can’t get that.”
Trump has said that he plans to reopen Trump University at some later date.