Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bren Simon's War With Simon Children

In all it ugliness it poured out into a courtroom in Hamilton County today where a judge will decide whether Bren Simon, the wife of the late Mel Simon, is fit to serve as trustee of his estate estimated to be worth $2 billion. Attorneys played videotaped testimony of Bren during an earlier deposition in court, while she and her stepdaughter, Deborah, "traded glares" across the courtroom at one another according to the IBJ's Cory Schouten. Here's some snippets of what Schouten says Bren said about Mel's children from his previous marriage, who were largely cut out of his last will that was executed near the time of his death from pancreatic cancer:

  • Bren Simon described her stepchildren as "spoiled, vicious and hurtful";
  • They refused to accept her as part of the family despite her 37 years of marriage to their father;
  • There were “cruel, insensitive and hurtful on a fairly regular basis” during the time she had been a part of the family;
  • In an e-mail, Bren had ordered the security staff to keep all Simon family members away from Mel's estate;
  • She characterized the behavior of David, who is the CEO of Simon Property Group, as "terrorism";
  • She said David would visit the estate daily to play golf but never come in to visit with his father;
  • She complained that David openly mocked Mel at board meetings to the point he came home in tears and said it was time to resign from the board of the company he founded; and
  • She complained that daughter Deborah was always begging for money from her father.
Schouten contrasted Bren's personality during her videotaped deposition. "Bren at various points in the testimony appeared upset, saying she couldn't understand all the hostility from her stepchildren," Schouten writes. "After all, she said, she never missed a 'birthday, anniversary or grandparent's day at Park Tudor.'" Schouten continued, "At other points, she came across as cold-hearted, even belligerent." "Bren frequently shot back with questions of her own, lecturing opposing counsel about being petty." "Business is business is business," she sneered. "There's no emotion in business." In one e-mail, Bren said she hoped all of her step-children rot in hell. I wonder if that's how brother-in-law Herb felt while he was extorting $33.5 million from the City of Indianapolis for his Indiana Pacers during a time when budgets for basic services, such as libraries, parks and schools are being slashed?

On that last point, Jim Morris made such a big deal about how much the Simon family has contributed to the City of Indianapolis, noting their generosity with contributions to IU Hospital and Riley Children's Hospital. I still can't get over the expose' the IBJ did a couple of years ago when they detailed how the Simons had received more than $400 million in public subsidies for their private business ventures in Indianapolis over the past couple of decades. Couldn't we all afford to be generous if the government gave us that much money? "Business is business is business." "There's no emotion in business." I think Bren let the cat out of the bag about how the Simons really view things.

On a lighter note, Bren said she had been under consideration for an ambassadorship by the Obama administration before she withdrew her name so she could care for her late husband. Anyone have any suggestions on what country Bren would have been fit to serve as an ambassador? Haiti or Somalia seem like good choices to me. She could really put her charitable ways to use in those needy countries.


M Theory said...

Isn't it weird how the MSM ignores Haiti now? What is that about?

varangianguard said...

Good Will Ambassador?

I know said...

The Simon's own estates in the Dominican Republic as the Casa De Campo golf resort that Pete Dye built. If you dig a little there are several other wealthy Indianapolis families there as well. The Haiti things is easy to figure out.

I heard a long time ago an Indiana family was offered the Dominican Ambassador position. The Simon's family I know was not it if Bayh had won the White House. Maybe Bren had the deal with Obama anyway.