After eight weeks of trial, a jury is deciding the fate of the Speed star's Austin dream home

By Alicia Dennis
October 08, 2004 11:40 AM

After eight weeks of testimony, cross examinations, accusations and rebuttals, a jury now holds the key to the future of Sandra Bullock’s Austin dream home-turned-nightmare.

Twelve jurors begin deliberations on Friday morning in the Travis County civil case pitting the actress against her former architect and builder, M. B. “Benny” Daneshjou. Daneshjou, 52, sued Bullock, 40, in June 2001, claiming Bullock still owes his company money for designing and building her home. The Speed star countersued him, claiming that he executed shoddy and defective construction work and committed fraud through deceitful billing practices.

Daneshjou then sued his former construction manager on the Bullock home, David Shrum, alleging that Shrum and other subcontractors were responsible for any problems in the construction.

All parties made closing arguments on Thursday in a trial that has been complicated and intricate, setting construction experts and engineers from both sides against each one another and creating over 1,000 exhibits admitted into evidence.

Walt Mizell, Bullock’s attorney, said in his closing arguments that his client had spent more than $6 million on a home she had only spent two nights in due to the fact that it is unsafe and uninhabitable. “Sandra Bullock believed in Benny Daneshjou and he let her down in a big, big way,” Mizell said. “What does she have to show for all her expense? A house she can’t live in that she’s afraid to sell.”

A verdict in the case could be reached as early as Friday.