Trump fails to end 'Apprentice' contestant's defamation lawsuit

AFP  Getty Images

The ruling stems from a defamation lawsuit filed by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, who has accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2007.

The New York State Appellate Division's First Department turned down Trump's argument that the case should be halted until he is out of office because, as a sitting president, he was immune from a lawsuit brought in state court.

Zervos was among more than a dozen women who came forward late in the 2016 presidential campaign to say that Mr. Trump had sexually harassed or assaulted them.

It now means that Zervos' lawyers may get the chance to grill Trump under oath about whether he defamed her by calling her a liar after she accused him of sexual misconduct.

A NY appeals court has ruled that President Donald Trump isn't immune from a defamation lawsuit filed by a former "Apprentice" contestant who accused him of unwanted kissing and groping.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in the similar federal case Clinton v. Jones acknowledged that a hypothetical state court case would involve separate issues, and thus the Jones case didn't control such a situation.

In addition, according to Bragg, other cases were stalled in anticipation of the Zervos decision, including one by the New York State Attorney General against the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court let Jones' case go forward.

President Trump's attorneys have argued his words were opinions and protected speech made during the course of a competitive campaign.

The reality TV contestant's lawsuit claims that the President's repeated denials of her sexual misconduct allegations are factual falsehoods that have subjected her to threats and cost her business at her Southern California restaurant.

Trump also faced a defamation claim by adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit over a hush money agreement.

President Trump had argued that the case should be postponed until he is out of office because of immunity that he has as a president.

The judge then added that the Supreme Court said in reference to the Jones case,"The Supreme Court also considered that '[i] f Congress deems it appropriate to afford the President stronger protection, it may respond with appropriate legislation'". That paved the way for Clinton's impeachment the following year. A finding in Mr. Trump's favor could have derailed at least two other cases in NY courts, including a wide-ranging probe into the Trump Organization by the state's attorney general.

All five justices found Zervos' defamation claim legally sufficient, without ruling on its merits.

"We are very pleased that the First Department has affirmed once again that Defendant is not above the law", Zervos' attorney Mariann Wang said in a statement.

Related:

Comments


Other news