World / Crime & Legal

Trump accuser Summer Zervos says phone records bolster her assault claim

by Erik Larson

Bloomberg

A former reality-TV star who claims Donald Trump sexually assaulted her at a private dinner meeting more than a decade ago said newly unsealed phone records disclosed as part of her defamation lawsuit against the president corroborate elements of her story.

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump’s “Apprentice” television show, sued the president the month he took office, after he called her a liar and denied her allegation that he kissed her inappropriately in his Trump Tower office and later assaulted her in his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for Zervos sent the unsealed and unredacted records in an email, saying they back her claim of an encounter with Trump in December 2007. The Trump Organization last week agreed to give Zervos internal phone records it had initially claimed were confidential.

The phone records show Trump spoke with Zervos on her cell phone several times on Dec. 21, 2007, in Los Angeles, around the time of the alleged attack there, her lawyer said in the email. The records also show Trump called Zervos just three minutes after his scheduled arrival in the city, the lawyer said.

The documents provide “even more irrefutable proof that plaintiff’s detailed account of her interactions with defendant is accurate,” Zervos’s lawyer said in the unredacted filing.

Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The phone records were the last batch of once-confidential documents that Zervos argued should be made public. Last month, her lawyer successfully negotiated with the Trump Organization to make public a trove of other documents in the case, including emails to Trump’s secretary arranging a meeting and relevant parts of Trump’s itinerary.

Zervos, who met with Trump in hopes of securing a job after her TV appearance in 2005, is one of more than a dozen women who’ve come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct. Trump has denied the claims.

In her complaint, Zervos says she turned down Trump’s aggressive sexual advances at the hotel and left. She said she felt confused by the encounter — that maybe Trump had been testing her — and still wanted to talk to him about a job. Zervos said she returned the next day to meet Trump for a tour of the golf course, only to be ditched by the mogul.

“Ms. Zervos called Mr. Trump to tell him she was upset, because it felt like she was being penalized for not sleeping with him,” the complaint says. “Mr. Trump said he was golfing and could not discuss it with her at that time.”

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