A former contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice” is suing President Donald Trump for defamation after he publicly denied her allegations that he groped her in 2006.
Summer Zervos of California alleges Trump made inappropriate comments, advances, and sexually assaulted her when she visited his bungalow to discuss job opportunities. Zervos says she will drop the lawsuit if Trump will admit to the assault, and take back what he said.
“Since Mr. Trump has not issued a retraction as I requested, he has therefore left me with no alternative other than to sue him to vindicate my reputation,” Zervos said.
Trump has maintained that nothing inappropriate ever happened between them, and that he never touched her. On his campaign website, the Trump team published a response to the allegations.
“I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years,” Trump said in the statement. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14th of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California.”
The lawsuit was filed in a New York state court Jan. 17, three days before Trump was inaugurated. One of Trump’s spokespeople, Hope Hicks, responded to the new lawsuit by dismissing Zervos’ lawyer, Gloria Allred, as inconsequential.
“More of the same from Gloria Allred. There is no truth to this absurd story,” Hicks said.
The case will be closely watched by the media if a judge allows it to proceed because of the potential subpoenas the lawsuit would bring. Allred could subpoena NBC for “Apprentice” outtakes, which has long been suspected to contain unflattering language and actions by the newly inaugurated president.
Speculation about what be on those tapes has been swirling since the infamous Access Hollywood tape was leaked. Now, the American public might have a chance to see Trump like we’ve never seen him before.
[Politico] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via Heavy]