Culture

Court rejects Trump's motion to halt defamation case from ex-'Apprentice' contestant

Court rejects Trump's motion to halt defamation case from ex-'Apprentice' contestant”

After a federal judge found that President Donald Trump is not immune from defamation claims by former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos, a NY appeals court ruled Thursday that the case should advance to discovery. Trump had claimed that Zervos' allegations were lies.

Trump's lawyers had asked to put the case on ice until the appeals court decides whether to dismiss it or postpone it past his presidency, a decision likely to take at least until fall.

When Trump also denied Zervos's claim, she filed a lawsuit for defamation three days before his inauguration.

Trump had sought to stay the case while he pursued his appeal but, without explanation, the judges said, "The motion is denied".

Zervos alleges Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a 2007 meeting at his office, and kissed and groped her the next time she saw him at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel, where she had gone to join him for dinner.

"We look forward to proving Ms. Zervos's claim that defendant lied when he maliciously attacked her for reporting his sexually abusive behavior", Wang said in a statement.

Trump is appealing a ruling by Justice Jennifer Schecter of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, which rejected his claim that as president he was immune from lawsuits over private conduct predating his entering the White House.

The president's lawyers sought to stay the case while they worked on an appeal of a judge's ruling earlier this year that the lawsuit brought by Summer Zervos could proceed.

Meanwhile, Joseph Cammarata, the Washington D.C. attorney who represented former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones - who sued President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment - said the case would not be a "pleasant exercise for President Trump".

A NY court says former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos can proceed with her defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, at least for now. A December 2017 report from NBC News noted that Zervos is asking for $2,914 in damages and an apology from Trump.

After Daniels - whose real name is Stephanie Clifford - released a sketch of a man she said threatened her to remain quiet about Trump in 2011, the president posted a tweet deriding "a nonexistent man" and called her story a "total con job", which led to her defamation suit in federal court in Manhattan.

"I think it is very important that President Trump provide answers in Summer's civil defamation case through the discovery process a.s.a.p." wrote Allred, who left the case in March, shortly after Schecter ruled it could proceed.

Zervos is one of more than a dozen women who have accused the president of sexual misconduct.

"This case is going forward", he said.



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