A state appeals court in New York has decided not to honor a bid by the United States President Donald Trump to put an end to a lawsuit for defamation by a contestant that once appeared on his hit TV reality show, The Apprentice. The contestant, who is female, has accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances toward her.
The appellate division in Manhattan gave no explanation of its decision not to stop Summer Zervos’ lawsuit but the California restauranteur will indeed be allowed by the court to go forward with the action.
Trump has made the argument that he is legally exempted from private conduct lawsuits that predate his becoming president. State Supreme Court Judge, Jennifer Schecter, ruled against the Trump argument and this is the issue behind the president’s appeal.
Zervos appeared on the television show with Trump in 2005 and has reported being kissed without her permission at a location in New York during a 2007 meeting and groped her while alone in a hotel in Beverly Hills.
Zervos came forward with her story in October 2016, following the release of an audio recording of the president appearing to boast about inappropriate sexual misconduct being perpetrated against women.
President Trump has apologized for the vulgar comments but has called the women that have come forward after the recording was made available to the public “liars.” The president also used Twitter to republish a post by another user that characterized Zervos’ claim as a hoax.
The basis of the Zervos lawsuit is the assertion that by Trump calling her a liar he has defamed her character. Zervos also says that she has been damaged by the loss of business to her restaurant as a result of this defamation.
The latest of a group of women who have said that President Trump has either behaved inappropriately or had an affair with them is adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels received $130,000 as part of a past agreement to remain silent about sexual encounters with the president but is now looking to have the agreement ended.