On Thursday, five New York Supreme Court appellate division judges rejected Trump’s request to halt the lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos.
Zervos is a former “Apprentice” contestant who alleges that in a 2007 meeting, Trump kissed her against her will and later groped her at a Beverly Hills hotel. However, Trump claimed that the allegations were false both on the campaign trail and on social media. According to Zervos, she received threats because of this. Three days before Trump’s inauguration, Zervos decided to file a defamation lawsuit against Trump.
Trump’s lawyers tried to argue that he should not have to respond to Zervos’ suit because it was filed in state court. They also argued that forwarding the suit could interfere with his presidential duties.
However, the five judges rejected the request. The judges’ order reads, “Upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon, it is ordered that the motion is denied.”
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So the move by the appeals judges means that the lawsuit can go forward. Also, it could mean that Trump would have to give a testimony unless his lawyers can convince the federal court to step in.
Shortly after the ruling, one of Trump’s lawyers, Marc Kasowitz, released a statement that showed he disagreed with the ruling.
The statement read, “Respectfully, the Appellate Division’s order denying a stay of the case pending the resolution of this key issue is incorrect. 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. 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 in order to take the time to first decide the threshold Constitutional issue that is at stake.”
Zervos’ lawyer also responded to the ruling stating, “I am very happy with the court order permitting my former client, Summer Zervos, to proceed with discovery in her defamation case against President Trump. 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. ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’”
It continued, “We look forward to proving Ms. Zervos’s claim that Defendant lied when he maliciously attacked her for reporting his sexually abusive behavior.”
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