*Statutes of limitations have prevented a former contestant on “The Apprentice” from filing a sexual assault lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump, so Summer Zervos, with the help of her attorney Gloria Allred, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the show’s former host for branding her a liar over the allegations.
The lawsuit comes just three days before Trump’s presidential inauguration. Zervos, who appeared on season five of “The Apprentice,” claims he kissed and groped her against her will at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.
Just before Election Day in November, Trump was hit with sexual assault accusations from a number of women, just as video showing him boasting to “Access Hollywood’s” Billy Bush about grabbing women’s genitals was released. Zervos was one of the accusers at that time.
Trump responded to all of his accusers during a rally in Pennsylvania, saying: “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
On Tuesday, Zervos appeared alongside Allred at a press conference to announce the defamation suit, to be filed in New York. Allred is echoing the legal strategy by many of her clients in Bill Cosby’s case by suing over comments that allegedly branded her liar. To win, Zervos will have to prove that Trump’s statements were “of and concerning” her.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Zervos will also need to beat back a defense likely to come from the President-elect — that his statement represented opinion. As shown in the Cosby cases, courts throughout the nation have come to different judgments about whether denials of sexual assault charges are capable of defamatory meaning.
Just last week the president-elect beat a libel lawsuit filed against him by political strategist Cheryl Jacobus. She sued for defamation after Trump tweeted that she begged him for a job and he turned her down. The judge there ruled that Trump’s statements qualified as opinions.