Summer Zervos, the former ‘Apprentice’ contestant who accused Donald Trump of making unwanted sexual contact during a 2007 encounter, filed a defamation suit against the president-elect on Tuesday. The lawsuit was announced by Zervos’ attorney Gloria Allred during a press conference on Tuesday in California.
“She knows that she will be attacked by Donald Trump,” Allred said, calling Zervos courageous for going forward with the legal action. “We’ve waited two months. Time is up.”
Zervos’ initial claims against Trump were made in October, less than a month before Election Day. The allegations came after an 11-year-old Access Hollywood tape, on which Trump can be heard boasting about forcing himself on women, surfaced. Zervos’ allegations that Trump had forcibly kissed and groped her came amid a cascade of accusations made by at least a dozen women who also claimed that Trump had touched them inappropriately. Trump blasted all of the allegations made against him as “lies” and threatened to sue the women who came forward with them.
Allred said the lawsuit accuses Trump of “unwanted sexual touching” that allegedly occurred at what was ostensibly a job interview in 2007 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Allred said Zervos had told family members about the alleged incident around the time she said it happened. The attorney added that Zervos never went public with allegations at the time of the alleged incident because she thought the actions were either an aberration, or that Trump might’ve been ashamed by his behavior. The suit alleges that Trump defamed Zervos when he denied the allegations and effectively called her a liar. Allred said “this lawsuit did not need to be filed” and could have been avoided had Trump retracted his statement that Zervos was a liar or admitted that Zervos was telling the truth.
Zervos volunteered to take a polygraph test and, according to Newseek, passed. She too spoke briefly at the news conference on Tuesday. “I wanted to give Mr. Trump the opportunity to retract his false statements about me and the other women who came forward,” Zervos said. Both Zervos and Allred are set to appear at the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday in the nation’s capital. Watch the complete press conference below.
Read the full story at BuzzFeed.