SAN FRANCISCO – A onetime contestant on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” television show who accused him of groping her is demanding in her lawsuit that he come clean about accusations by other women of “illicit” sexual misconduct.
Summer Zervos is seeking damages from Trump on the grounds that he defamed her when he dismissed her account as untruthful. If Trump has deliberately made false statements about other accusers, it would undercut his ability to defend himself by arguing that he just has a bad memory, Zervos said in a filing Tuesday in New York state court.
Like President Bill Clinton before him, Trump could face legal peril if he must testify about his sexual history in the suit filed by Zervos and another by Stephanie Clifford, the adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had consensual sex with Trump in 2006 and was physically threatened in 2011 to stay silent.
Zervos wants Trump to identify any woman who ever alleged that he subjected them to unwanted sexual touching or other inappropriate behavior — as well as any details on payoffs to those women. Zervos, who met with Trump in hopes of securing a job after her Apprentice appearance in 2005, is one of at least 19 women who have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.
The law firm representing Trump said it will respond to Zervos in a Sept. 14 court filing.
“Summer Zervos is seeking information concerning allegations from other women that have nothing to do with her defamation claims,” a spokesperson for Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP said in an email. “Both sides have agreed to address this issue with the court.”
Zervos said Trump’s lawyers have refused to provide information or documents about other women and asked a state judge in Manhattan in Tuesday’s filing to order the president’s attorneys to cooperate.
“Most of these women described defendant assaulting them in a virtually identical manner to what Ms. Zervos was forced to endure: without each woman’s consent, defendant would proceed to kiss them on the mouth and grope them, including by grabbing their breasts, buttocks, or vaginas,” according to the filing.
New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter in May allowed Zervos to move forward with her case despite Trump’s attempt to assert immunity as a sitting president, but the judge didn’t rule on whether Trump must be questioned in person in a deposition.