Los Angeles, Jan 17 (EFE).- Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the television show “The Apprentice” and who last October accused then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of sexually misconduct, on Tuesday filed a lawsuit for defamation against the president-elect for denying her claims and saying that they were inventions and lies.
Zervos appeared at a Los Angeles press conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred, to outline the lawsuit against the controversial mogul she filed in New York just three days before Trump is due to be inaugurated as the country’s 45th president.
In October 2016, Zervos told a press conference that in 2007 Trump had groped and kissed her against her will in the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, to which the then-candidate responded that those accusations were false.
Trump said at that time that although “I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on ‘The Apprentice’ … to be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately …. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life.”
Upon seeing that Trump did not acknowledge the accusations and that he has not retracted his comments since then, Zervos filed a lawsuit for defamation because, she said on Tuesday, she was left with “no alternative” to “vindicate my reputation.”
Zervos said that she will “immediately” withdraw her lawsuit without demanding monetary compensation if Trump retracts his “false and defamatory statements” about her and admits that what she says happened during their encounter “was the truth.”
Meanwhile, Allred said prior to the Tuesday press conference that Zervos took a voluntary polygraph examination, which she passed.
She emphasized that her client decided to go public when she saw that she was one of many women claiming that they were the victims of Trump’s sexual misconduct after the release of a 2005 videotape in which the magnate bragged in vulgar terms about being able to do whatever he wanted with women.
Allred also said that Trump had used his national forum as a candidate to denigrate and harm the images of the women who had accused him.
The attorney emphasized the courage it takes to confront “the most powerful man on the planet,” adding that “No one is above the law, including the president-elect.”
Zervos was a contestant on the fifth season of Trump’s show “The Apprentice,” but after beng eliminated from the show, according to her account to the media in October, she said that Trump called her and invited her to have dinner during a visit to Los Angeles. She accepted and showed up at the hotel, whereupon Trump’s security team accompanied her to a bungalow – not to the restaurant – and the alleged incident occurred there.
She said that he kissed her without her consent, touched her breast and thrust his genitals at her, but halted when she rebuffed him.
They continued on to dinner to speak about possible job opportunities for her, but none of the plans they discussed ever materialized and Zervos concluded that Trump had “penalized (her) for not sleeping with him.”
“You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star,” Zervos said in October, addressing Trump directly.