Donald Trump Cans Fallen Billionaire Patricia Kluge

Former billionaire socialite fired from her own former vineyard by Donald Trump

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2012 10:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Patricia Kluge went from billionaire socialite to broke, with Donald Trump snapping up her former winery at a foreclosure auction, but she apparently had not hit bottom until now: Trump, who originally kept her on as VP of operations, has told her she's no longer needed full-time. (The New York Post's predictably gleeful take: "Trump: Kluge, You're Fired.")

"We gave her a transition contract for the first year, and that has ended," Trump explains. "We are still working with her a little bit, and we still have a good relationship with Patricia. But it is never easy when you build something like that and you end up working for the people that are owning it." Trump's son Eric now runs the business, and Kluge's husband Bill Moses will stay on as general manager. Kluge filed for bankruptcy almost one year ago.

Eric Trump smiles as he  joins Patricia Kluge during a news conference  at the Trump winery in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.
Eric Trump smiles as he joins Patricia Kluge during a news conference at the Trump winery in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks as Donald Trump and Patricia Kluge look on in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks as Donald Trump and Patricia Kluge look on in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In this June 1, 2010 file photo the Albemarle House, the former home of Patricia and John Kluge, is nestled the countryside outside Charlottesville, Va.
In this June 1, 2010 file photo the Albemarle House, the former home of Patricia and John Kluge, is nestled the countryside outside Charlottesville, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Eric Trump gestures as he joins Patricia Kluge, right, and his father Donald Trump in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.
Eric Trump gestures as he joins Patricia Kluge, right, and his father Donald Trump in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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