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Billionaire Child Support Case Head to Trial

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By Jason Beahm on August 18, 2010 7:08 AM

When a California billionaire fathers two children out of wedlock, how much should he have to pay in child support?

It appears the question is headed to an Orange County jury in a massive child support case.

Billionaire land developer and Irvine Company chairman Donald L. Bren is being sued by his former lover, Jennifer McKay Gold (super ironic last name), and two of his children which he fathered with her. His children, Christie and David, 22 and 18 respectively, are seeking back child support payments of $400,000 a month, each. According to the attorney for the children, Bren spends between $3 million and $5 million a month to support his lifestyle, which Bren's attorney disputes. Bren, 78, is reportedly worth $12 billion; he was listed 16th in Forbes magazines 400 richest Americans.

Bren leads a fairly private life and had hoped to keep the child support case out of court. His attorneys made countless motions to keep personal and financial information out of the case, The Los Angeles Times reports. Assuming that the case doesn't settle, the jury will decide whether his children deserve additional payments above the $10,000 a month they received until he allegedly cut them off in 2002. Additional payments, if ordered, would be based on the wealth of Bren during the years he was with Gold.

Bren's personal attorney says that Bren complied with past agreements and has paid over $9 million to support his children. Based on a California child support formula, Bren may have been ordered to pay as much as 19.2 percent of his monthly income to his children. However, California courts have ruled that extraordinarily wealthy people don't have to follow the formula and it is capped off, the Orange County Register reports.

Stay tuned to find out whether the jury orders Donald L. Bren to pay up, or tells the kids to get a job.

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