He had vowed never to settle, staunchly defending his Trump University project.
But on Friday US president-elect Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle three Trump University lawsuits, having vowed never to do so.
His turnaround on settling the dispute over the real estate seminars was branded a ‘stunning reversal’ by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The lawsuits in New York and California had dogged Trump throughout his campaign.
“A very important part of our willingness to compromise this case was the acknowledgment that there was no fault or liability on the part of president-elect Trump or Trump University,” said Trump’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli outside court in San Diego.
The plaintiffs’ attorney Jason Forge said: “Everybody who was enrolled in this school, who wants their money back, will get over half their money at a minimum and perhaps up to all of their money back. So we are very pleased with the outcome.”
Students claimed they were lured by false promises into paying hefty fees to learn investing “secrets” from “hand-picked” instructors.
Settling means Trump – still adamant he did nothing wrong – avoids a trial due to have started later this month.
US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, presiding over the two California cases, had urged both sides to settle.
Trump caused outrage during his election campaign by saying that Curiel, born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents, could not be impartial because of Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to control illegal immigration.