Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred has filed a defamation lawsuit against President-elect Trump on behalf of Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice.” Zervos is one of several women who came forward with accusations of sexual harassment late last year. From NBC News:
The suit, filed Tuesday morning, claims Trump knew his statements about Zervos and his other accusers would subject them to “threats of violence, economic harm and reputational damage.”…
“Ms. Zervos is willing to dismiss her lawsuit if he will retract his false statements about her and acknowledge that what Summer said about Mr. Trump and his alleged conduct is and was the truth,” she said…
Trump has vehemently denied the claims. In response to Tuesday’s press conference, Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks provided the following statement to NBC News: “More of the same from Gloria Allred. There is no truth to this absurd story.”
Allred announced the lawsuit at a press conference Tuesday. Zervos made a brief statement saying, “On November 11, 2016, I called on Mr. Trump to retract his statements about me, calling me a liar.” She continued, “I also called upon him to state that what I said about his behavior toward me was true.
“More than two months have gone by and he has not issued that retraction. I wanted to give Mr. Trump the opportunity to retract his false statements about me and the other women who came forward. Since Mr. Trump has not issued a retraction as I requested, he has therefore left me with no alternative other than to sue him in order to vindicate me reputation.”
Allred cited Clinton vs. Jones as a precedent for the fact that even the President of the United States can be subject to a deposition and, potentially, a trial. The NY Times points out another way in which the Paula Jones case could be a precedent:
When Paula Jones sued Bill Clinton, powerful conservative backers bankrolled and pressed her case until the sitting president of the United States was deposed under oath — and fatefully denied having sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. The result: the first and only impeachment of an elected president.
Ms. Zervos could well have the same kind of political muscle behind her — from the left.
Here is the full press conference: