Judge denies Trump bid to stay Zervos defamation case

Esequiel Farfan
May 18, 2018

Zervos, a California restaurateur, appeared on "The Apprentice", Trump's former show, in 2006.

Trump appealed that decision not long after, saying she was mistaken in not dismissing or staying the case, and his attorneys sought to defer proceedings while the appeal is pending.

The ruling by the state Supreme Court's appellate division means Zervos' lawyers can press ahead with a demand for Trump campaign documents and other records while they await another appeals court decision that is likely months away. A court ruled on May 17, 2018, that the former "Apprentice" contestant can proceed with her defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump.

Trump has been challenging a March 20 ruling by Justice Jennifer Schecter of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, which rejected his claim that as president he was immune from lawsuits over private conduct predating his entering the White House.

While Trump apologized for his comments, Zervos accused him of having kissed her against her will at a 2007 meeting in NY, and later groped her at a Beverly Hills hotel.

"It is also completely and unjustifiably contrary to the stays the courts uniformly granted when deciding whether a lawsuit against President Clinton could proceed in federal court", Burgo added. "There is no valid reason in this case-in which plaintiff is seeking merely $3,000 in damages and which plaintiff's counsel has repeatedly insisted was brought for political purposes-for the court not to grant the requested stay", he said. That case opened the door for President Clinton's impeachment.

According to CNN, Summer Zervos' legal team is demanding various forms of evidence, including outtakes from The Apprentice where Zervos is featured, or those that might include negative or sexually inappropriate comments from Trump about her or other female contestants.

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The White House was not immediately available for comment.

Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking to end an agreement in which Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 not to discuss her alleged affair with Trump.

Summer Zervos leaves Manhattan Supreme Court at the conclusion of a December 5, 2017, hearing in NY.

Complicating matters is that Zervos's suit was filed in NY state court. "I've suffered terribly as a result of defendant's (Trump's) lies and attacks upon me", she said in a sworn statement.

"I think it is very important that President Trump provide answers in Summer's civil defamation case through the discovery process a.s.a.p." wrote Allred, who left the case in March, shortly after Schecter ruled it could proceed. The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibited state courts from exercising jurisdiction over a sitting president.

Another option open to Trump, he said, would be to offer to settle the case.

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