Along with ten other women, Summer Zervos accused Donald Trump of sexual assault following the recent release of a recording of Trump bragging about grabbing women's genitals. Trump fired back against Zervos and others, calling the allegations a "total fabrication," and even mocking his accusers' physical appearance.
Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice," has now filed a defamation lawsuit against the future president, claiming his denials of her story as a "hoax" and dismissal of her as a "phony" caused her emotional distress and lost business. You can read her claims in full below:
Zervos claims she had visited Trump at a Los Angeles hotel to discuss a possible job opportunities. But once in his room, Trump groped her breast and began to kiss her aggressively. And when she rejected his advances, she alleges, Trump suggested they "lay down and watch some telly-telly" while steering her toward the bedroom.
Zervos says she again tried to rebuff the President-elect, telling him, "Come on man, get real." Trump allegedly "repeated her words back to her lasciviously, drawing out the second word and saying, 'get reeeeal,' as he began to press his genitals against her, trying to kiss her again."
While Zervos did not originally report the incident to law enforcement or file a lawsuit previously, the release of the tape convinced her Trump was "a sexual predator who had preyed on her and other women." Her eventual lawsuit claims that Trump knew his denials of her allegations were defamatory, because he knew the truth of their interactions and the fact that "he engaged regularly in this kind of unwanted sexual touching for years, and that was, in fact, how he treated women routinely and how he lived his life."
Trump's rise to the presidency shouldn't affect Zervos's lawsuit. Per the Supreme Court and their ruling when former President Bill Clinton attempted to quash a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Arkansas state worker Paula Jones, presidents can be sued while in office concerning their private conduct or activities that took place before their election. Whether the suit will impact Trump's early days in office remains to be seen.