Drew Brees testifies in $8 million diamond trial

Drew Brees testifies in $8 million diamond trial

SAN DIEGO, La. (WVUE) - Drew Brees testified in a San Diego court Friday as part of a lawsuit against a jeweler.

Brees claims the jeweler intentionally misled and defrauded him and his wife out of millions of dollars.

Brees and his wife live in New Orleans half the season, and in San Diego the other half.

He was a quarterback for the Chargers about 15 years ago.

That’s when he was introduced to a jeweler in La Jolla, Calif., Vahid Maradi, who sold him watches. After a few years, he ended up buying some high end pink and blue diamonds.

Brees said he bought the blue diamond for $8 million, only to find out later it was worth about $5 million.

The jeweler’s attorney said that’s retail. Jewelers markup costs to make a profit.

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"You can’t sue somebody for charging too much. There’s no legal claim for, ‘I, Drew Brees, should not have to pay the same 1.6 (percent) markup,’ that all of us have to pay,” defense attorney Peter Ross said.

Brees painted a much different picture, claiming he was more than a customer.

He was a jewelry enthusiast and the jeweler, he said, became good friends with him. He said the two knew each other for over 10 years before making the diamond purchases. And in that time, they invested in other businesses together, even talked about helping the jeweler buy another store with Brees’s help.

So, when the jeweler suggested buying diamonds, he said he didn’t think there would be the normal customer markup.

"Basically, those conversations started with him coming to me and saying, ‘You should really look at investing into color diamonds and investment grade diamonds,’” Brees said.

Brees said he was told the diamond had been known to appreciate up to 200 percent over the past decade and had flown under the radar.

The jeweler told him it was a good investment, according to Brees. He said this was not a normal sale. Something he planned on turning a profit on in three to five years.

The trial resumes Monday.

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