No one walked away fully victorious Tuesday in the long and bitter Feld family feud over a scuffle at a shiva.
A federal jury rejected writer Karen Feld’s $110 million claim that she was assaulted when her brother — Ringling Bros. CEO Kenneth Feld — had guards evict her from their aunt’s 2007 memorial service in Washington. But the same panel also denied the circus tycoon’s counterclaim that his sister had trespassed at the event by shouting anti-Semitic profanities.
Ken, though, expressed satisfaction with the outcome. In a statement, the Potomac multimillionaire said the jury’s denial of his sister’s claim “was a reflection of the evidence,” adding that “since Aunt Shirley’s shiva was desecrated, this is now probably the closest thing to closure that we will ever have.”
Karen — who attributes her shiva outburst to a seizure disorder — was absent from court for the fourth day for medical reasons, she said. (Last week she twice fled the courtroom when her brother’s attorney referred to her as “Mrs.” Feld.) “I’m disappointed that they felt a brutal assault was an appropriate way to treat someone who has a medical disability,” she told us. “I’m sorry they didn’t realize my brother is just a big bully.” The two have been at odds for a quarter-century, since their late father Irvin Feld’s will cut her out of the family business.
But jury foreman Chad Capule told the AP that the guards acted properly “based on the situation and what they knew.” The jury agreed that Karen couldn’t control her outburst, he said — but saw no evidence the guards caused injuries requiring her to have surgery.
Read also: Jurors say circus CEO’s sister did not prove her brother had his guards assault her at shiva, Associated Press, 5/24/11
Read earlier in Reliable Source: Karen Feld’s troubled life highlighted in circus family feud trial; lawyer says seizures an issue in clash with brother, 5/23/11