Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, has filed a defamation lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump after he called her a “liar” in response to her sexual assault allegations.
The businesswoman and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, announced during a press conference that the lawsuit was filed in New York on Tuesday, January 17, just three days before the former Apprentice host, 70, is set to be sworn in as POTUS. Allred said the filing “seeks to make Donald Trump accountable for the damage he has caused Ms. Zervos,” who was one of several women to come forward last year to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct.
Ahead of Tuesday’s press conference, Zervos took a voluntary polygraph examination, which she passed, according to Allred. “She was telling the truth,” the famed attorney said of her client.
The Apprentice alum, who competed on season 5 in 2006, first came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Trump last October, claiming the businessman kissed her on the lips twice without her consent during a 2007 meeting in New York City. Zervos said she later met with Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he allegedly kissed her again, touched her breast and thrust his genitals at her. Other women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations after a video released in October depicted Trump bragging about kissing and groping women during a 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush.
After Zervos went public with the allegations last year, the real estate mogul denied the events ever happened. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago,” he said in a statement released in October. “That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life.” He later called the numerous women who accused him of misconduct “liars.”
At Tuesday’s press conference, Allred said Zervos is willing to rescind the defamation lawsuit if Trump retracts his “false statements” and acknowledges his “sexually inappropriate” conduct against her client.