Woman sues Trump in New York for
defamation over sexual assault denial
Send a link to a friend
[January 18, 2017]
By Alex Dobuzinskis and Dana Feldman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One of about a
dozen women who previously accused President-elect Donald Trump of
making unwanted sexual advances filed a lawsuit against him in New York
on Tuesday, alleging he had made false and defamatory statements about
her in rejecting the accusation, causing her emotional and economic
The lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, a one-time contestant on Trump's
reality television show "The Apprentice," is focused on a stream of
denials Trump aimed at her and other women accusers last October, just
weeks before the Nov. 8 presidential election, when Zervos and others
came forward to accuse the then-candidate of making unwanted sexual
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks called the allegations "absurd."
“More of the same from Gloria Allred," said Hicks, referring to Zervos'
high-profile attorney. "There is no truth to this absurd story."
At the time the women made their allegations, Trump, a Republican, who
went on to win the election and who takes office on Friday, adamantly
denied all the accusations in posts on Twitter, statements, interviews
and comments at rallies. He suggested at one rally in Charlotte, North
Carolina, on Oct. 14 that the accusers were fabricating their stories
for publicity or to damage his campaign.
With regard to Zervos specifically, Trump told the rally in Charlotte
just hours after she made her allegations that it was "not hard to find
a small handful of people willing to make false smears for personal
fame, who knows maybe for financial reasons, political purposes,”
according to the lawsuit.
"Mr. Trump's false, defamatory statements about Ms. Zervos – that, among
other things, she made up her descriptions of Mr. Trump's misconduct as
a hoax, and that she is creating a 'phony' story just so that she can be
famous – have been deeply detrimental to Ms. Zervos's reputation, honor
and dignity,” the lawsuit stated.
At a news conference in Los Angeles announcing the lawsuit on Tuesday,
Zervos said she wanted Trump to apologize.
[to top of second column]
Summer Zervos listens as her attorney Gloria Allred speaks during a
news conference announcing the filing of a lawsuit against
President-elect Donald Trump in Los Angeles, California, U.S.,
January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
"Since Mr. Trump has not issued a retraction as I requested, he has
therefore left me with no alternative other than to sue him in order
to vindicate my reputation," Zervos said.
Her lawsuit said she was seeking "all possible remedies," including
the apology and retraction, from Trump.
Allred, who also represents a number of women who have accused
comedian Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct, raised the possibility at
the news conference that Trump might be required to give a
deposition in the case.
The lawsuit said Trump kissed Zervos without her consent at his
office in New York in December 2007 and later at a hotel in Beverly
Hills, California, kissed her, touched her breast and tried to get
her to lie on a bed during a meeting about a possible job.
She and the other women came forward after a video from 2005
surfaced showing Trump boasting of making unwanted advances toward
women including grabbing women by the genitals – a video that he
later apologized for but said was simply “locker room talk” and was
not his actual behavior.
(Reporting by Dana Feldman and Alex Dobuzinskis; Writing by Alex
Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.