A Former Apprentice Contestant Just Filed a Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

Summer Zervos accused the president-elect of unwanted sexual assault.

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Former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, who was among a string of women to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct in the lead up to the election, announced on Tuesday that she is suing the president-elect for defamation, claiming Trump “maliciously” disparaged her and falsely claimed she was a liar.

“On November 11, 2016, I called on Mr. Trump to retract his statements about me calling me a liar,” Zervos, who is being represented by attorney Gloria Allred, announced in a press conference in Los Angeles. “I also called upon him to state that what I said about his behavior towards me was true. More than two months have gone by and he has not issued that retraction.”

She said that she would be willing to dismiss her case without monetary compensation if Trump admitted she had been telling the truth.

In October, Zervos claimed that Trump had groped her during a 2007 meeting where the two met to discuss hiring prospects within the Trump organization. The allegations came amid the publication of a bombshell 2005 Access Hollywood recording showing Trump bragging about groping women without their consent.

“Mr. Trump, when I met you I was so impressed with your talents,” she said in October. “I wanted to be like you. I wanted a job in your organization. Instead, you treated me as an object to be hit upon. I was incredibly embarrassed by your sexual advances.”

Trump vehemently denied the account, as well as the other sexual assault allegations that quickly emerged after the Access Hollywood recording. More than a dozen women came forward with sexual assault claims; Trump denied each one. He also dismissed his statements in the Access Hollywood recording as mere “locker room” banter.

“She knows that she will be attacked by Mr. Trump and his supporters and defenders, but she is willing to endure and suffer unwarranted attacks against her in order to vindicate her rights,” Allred said during Tuesday’s press conference.

Republican operative Cheri Jacobus filed a similar defamation lawsuit against the incoming president alleging he made statements against her that damaged her career. A judge recently dismissed the case.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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