Court rejects Trump's motion to halt defamation case from ex-'Apprentice' contestant

Lawrence Kim
May 18, 2018

A NY state appeals court on Thursday denied U.S. president Donald Trump's bid to halt a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on his reality TV show "The Apprentice" who accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.

With just four sentences, the appellate court rejected Kasowitz's appeal in its decision, concluding, "Now, 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".

Trump's attorneys have said his remarks were "non-defamatory opinions". Trump's lawyers had asked to put the case on ice until appeals judges decide whether to dismiss it or postpone it past his presidency.

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

Zervos alleges Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a 2007 meeting at his office, and kissed and groped her the next time she saw him at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel, where she had gone to join him for dinner.

"We look forward to proving Ms. Zervos' claim that (the) defendant lied when he maliciously attacked her for reporting his sexually abusive behavior", said her lawyer, Mariann Wang.

This ruling comes follows the Trump Team's appeal of a March 20 ruling by the presiding judge in the case. "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".

Meanwhile, Joseph Cammarata, the Washington D.C. attorney who represented former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones - who sued President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment - said the case would not be a "pleasant exercise for President Trump".

Thursday's decision is the result of the Trump legal team's attempts to appeal an earlier March ruling from New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter, who said Zervos's case could proceed.

A NY court says former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos can proceed with her defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, at least for now.

"I wanted to give Mr. Trump the opportunity to retract his false statements about me and the other women who came forward", Zervos said in January 2017, when she and Allred first filed the suit.

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.

Trump filed a motion to stay the lawsuit, arguing that he was constitutionally protected from being sued while he serves as president.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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