Former ‘Apprentice’ contestant heads to court against Trump

Summer Zervos, left, appears with her attorney Gloria Allred following a hearing against President Donald Trump, in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump, accusing him of unwanted sexual contact when she was a contestant on his reality TV show, "The Apprentice" in 2006. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

President Trump’s attorney is seeking to dismiss a defamation lawsuit today filed by one of the women who has accused the president of sexual misconduct.

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” was one of more than a dozen women who came forward during the presidential campaign and accused Trump of inappropriate conduct ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault.

Trump denied all the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, calling his accusers liars and threating to sue them, but now Zervos is the one headed to court.

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The New York Supreme Court will be holding oral arguments this afternoon regarding Zervos’ defamation lawsuit.

Trump’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss her lawsuit, and Zervos’ attorney, Gloria Allred, has responded with an opposition to the motion.

During the campaign, Zervos, who was a competitor on the fifth season of “The Apprentice,” came forward and alleged that Trump abused his role as a potential employer — kissing her twice during a meeting at Trump Tower in New York, and later groping and kissing her in a California hotel room.

“He grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” Zervos said at an October 2016 press conference.

Zervos says she did not report the alleged incident to the authorities at the time.

In the lawsuit, Zervos’ attorney wrote that while Trump claimed that Zervos was lying, “it was Donald Trump who was lying when he falsely denied his predatory misconduct with Summer Zervos, and derided her for perpetrating a ‘hoax’ and making up a ‘phony’ story to get attention.”

“Donald Trump lied again, and again, and again, and again, and again. In doing so, he used his national and international bully pulpit to make false factual statements to denigrate and verbally attack Ms. Zervos and the other women who publicly reported his sexual assaults in October 2016,” Zervos’ lawsuit stated.

In the motion to dismiss and strike the lawsuit, Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, argued that “what Zervos alleges occurred never happened” and that the suit is “politically motivated.”

“Summer Zervos and her counsel, Gloria Allred, continue to press what they have openly proclaimed to be a purely politically-motivated lawsuit, touted as Ms. Allred’s ‘answer’ to President Trump winning the election,” Kasowitz wrote in his motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Kasowitz also wrote that Trump “exercised his First Amendment right to defend himself” and said that the “snippets of statements” cited by Zervos’ lawsuit “are not defamatory as a matter of law and most of which do not even reference her.”

Attorneys for both parties are due in court this afternoon.

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