NEW YORK — Bob Guillo spent almost $35,000 hoping to learn some of Donald Trump’s real estate secrets. Instead, he says, he left the sessions of Trump University cash-poor, with little more than a photo of himself next to a life-size cardboard cutout of the mogul, who never even showed up.
“They told everybody to get their credit card limits raised to buy real estate, but the true purpose was to pay $35,000 for the next bunch of seminars,” said Guillo, of Manhasset, on Long Island.
Nora Hanna dished out about $17,000 for the Trump University program, concluding after just a few days that “what I learned there, I could read on the Internet.”
The Brooklyn woman fought for two months to get her money back as promised to those who changed their mind within three days. “They wouldn’t answer my calls or emails,” she said. Eventually, she said, her money was returned.
Trump’s former students are coming forward to tell their stories in the wake of a $40 million lawsuit against “The Apprentice” star and his real estate school by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who says Trump helped run a phony university that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and largely useless seminars.
The billionaire developer says Schneiderman’s lawsuit is false and that his school had done a “fantastic job,” with a 98 percent approval rating among students from around the country. He called the attorney general “a political hack looking to get publicity.”
Guillo said that in the group seminars he attended in New York hotel conference rooms in 2009 and early 2010, an instructor “was flashing his Rolex watch and wearing a very expensive suit and fancy cufflinks as he told us his rags-to-riches story.”
“We followed PowerPoint presentations, and they gave us loose-leaf manuals and websites you could pull up on your home computer. We were all scammed,” Guillo said.
Not everyone feels that way. Marla Rains-Colic called her experience “extremely positive.”
“It was an education that opened the door for us in real estate,” said Rains-Colic, who with her husband paid $25,000 for a private, three-day “mentorship” program” in St. Louis with a real estate expert from Wisconsin chosen by Trump’s organization.
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NEW YORK — A spokeswoman for Catherine Zeta-Jones says the actress and her husband, Michael Douglas, “are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage.”
Publicist Cece Yorke said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday that there would be no further comment. A phone call to a representative for Douglas wasn’t immediately returned.
People magazine, citing unnamed sources, first reported that Zeta-Jones and Douglas had decided to spend time apart.
Zeta-Jones, 43, and Douglas, 68, were married in 2000. They have two children. He battled throat cancer in 2010 and made headlines this summer when he spoke out about one potential cause, oral sex.
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LAS VEGAS — David Furnish is planning to open a swanky champagne lounge in the same Las Vegas Strip casino where his partner, Sir Elton John, holds a residency.
The nearly 3,000-square-foot FIZZ Las Vegas bar is set to debut this fall at Caesars Palace. Developers promise caviar, charcuterie and small plates to complement the champagne and other cocktails. Furnish says he spends so much time in Las Vegas while Elton John performs his show, “The Million Dollar Piano,” that the couple wanted a space to reflect their personal style.
The $3.2 million venue will be modeled after the couple’s home in Los Angeles and feature photography from the pair’s personal collection. Managers describe the aesthetic as a “glam-chic” throwback to 1970s designer David Hicks.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The daughter of country star Alan Jackson has been charged with assault, underage drinking and resisting arrest. She is accused of striking a police officer and then invoking her father’s name during a traffic stop in Nashville.
Alexandra Jane Jackson, 20, was a passenger in a car pulled over by Metro Nashville police on Wednesday. According to a police affidavit, Jackson was irate and refused to stay in the car. Police say Jackson raised her hand to an officer, then struck the officer in the chest. The affidavit says Jackson resisted when officers went to handcuff her and she later told police she had been drinking. As she was being booked into the jail, she told the officer that her father “would do anything I wanted him to do.” WSMV-TV reports she was released early Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Alan Jackson had no comment.
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NEW YORK — The investigators on CBS’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” will be without forensic scientist Nick Stokes for a while.
CBS said Wednesday that George Eads is taking a leave of absence after appearing in the show’s first three episodes of the upcoming season.
Eads has portrayed Stokes since the series premiere in 2000. It’s unclear when or if he’ll return.
CBS won’t comment on a Hollywood Reporter story that Eads got into an argument with a writer on the show about his character.
Eads’ manager hasn’t returned messages seeking comment.
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hollywood celebrity Pamela Anderson is running in the New York City Marathon to support fellow actor Sean Penn’s humanitarian group in Haiti.
Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization said Wednesday that the actress will be part of the group’s fundraising team that will take five Haitian distance runners to compete in the Nov. 3 race.
The money raised will go toward operating funds for the humanitarian group, which has helped shelter some of the people displaced by Haiti’s earthquake in 2010.
Penn later became an ambassador-at-large for Haiti because of his humanitarian work.
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DENVER — Aaron Neville is still hitting the high notes.
When asked his routine for caring for his distinctive voice and falsetto, the singer said, “Pray a lot. Just sing around the house, keep hitting the notes, not letting them get away.”
Neville, 72, performs Saturday night at A Taste of Colorado at Civic Center Park in Denver as he tours to promote his doo-wop album “My True Story.” MC Hammer and America also are among those scheduled to perform at the free-admission festival that runs Friday through Monday.
When asked what else he’d still like to do in his career, Neville said: “I just want to keep on singing ’til the year 3000. Until God tells me, ‘Break it up. It’s time to come home.’ Until then.”