Garth Brooks Testifies To 'Handshake Deal' With Yukon Hospital

In sometimes emotional testimony, Garth Brooks took the stand in his lawsuit against a Yukon hospital. He is seeking the return of a $500,000 contribution and punitive damages.

Friday, January 20th 2012, 10:49 am

By: News On 6

Garth Brooks was on the stand Friday in his lawsuit trial against a Yukon hospital. The sometimes emotional testimony took place in a Rogers County courtroom.

The dispute is over Brooks' $500,000 donation to the Integris Canadian Valley Hospital to honor his mother.

On Friday, attorneys asked what damages he had suffered in the case. Brooks said it was like reliving his mother's death every day.

Outside the courtroom, wife and fellow performer Trisha Yearwood said it was "mentally exhausting" to watch her husband on the witness stand.

"It's hard for him because he's a real straightforward, honest guy, and he doesn't want to hurt anybody's feelings - even in this," she said.

On Thursday, Brooks told News On 6 he is ready for this trial to be over. He says he can't believe Integris let this case get this far, and he's ready to finally tell his story.

1/19/2012 Related Story: Garth Brooks Ready To Take Stand In Hospital Lawsuit Trial

Brooks testified Friday morning Integris' president told him for $250,000 they could name the ICU for his mother, but Brooks said that didn't interest him because it didn't fit his mom, Colleen Brooks. 

Brooks says the president then suggested naming the hospital's women's center for his mom, and Brooks loved it right away. 

Brooks says his mom had been a pregnant teenager and struggled; she always helped young women. 

He spoke very highly of Integris' president and said they were both excited about the deal. He didn't start to worry until after three years, he was told his donation was being spent. No women's center was in the works.

In testimony on Thursday, the hospital's president James Moore said it was always the hospital's intention to honor Brooks' mother, but they didn't have a specific agreement with Brooks on how to do that.

Brooks was asked if he thought it was unusual for the agreement to be a "handshake deal" rather than in writing. He said he has his own foundation and gets a lot of big donations - many on a handshake basis.

There was a funny moment when Garth Brooks was asked about his mother.  Brooks said he was the baby of six kids and his mother's favorite. That got a chuckle.

There was a tender moment when Brooks was asked about his dad. He got choked up and teary eyed.

As he wiped a tear, so did his wife. She has been in court everyday and says it's not a place they ever expected to be. But it's all about wanting to honor Garth's mother.

1/20/2012 Related Story: Fans Flock To Claremore Courthouse To See Garth And Trisha

"We are all emotional about our mothers," Yearwood said. "That was used to lure him into giving some money, knowing the big ask - the big $15 million was coming. It was intentional and not good, not nice. It just breaks my heart because it was mean spirited."

When asked why he sent the check anonymously, Garth Brooks said the Bible says to and that is how he does all his donations.

Brooks will continue his testimony Monday in Claremore. News On 6 Anchor and Crime Reporter Lori Fullbright will continue to Tweet from the courthouse.

Follow News On 6 Lori Fullbright's Twitter feed from the Courthouse again on Monday.



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