Home / US / Judge Rejects Trump's Request to Deny Summer Zervo's Defamation Defamation

Judge Rejects Trump's Request to Deny Summer Zervo's Defamation Defamation

Trump's legal team had argued that a stay is necessary "given the new and important constitutional issues," the "special considerations arising from" their earlier request to dismiss the case, and to prevent "irreparable harm."

New York State Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter on Monday, however, rejected the request, allowing the case to proceed.

Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

Former contestant, Summer Zervos, has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2007. She claims that Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York office, and on a separate occasion in Beverly Hills, she claims he kissed her aggressively and touched her chest.

Trump has denied the allegations.

Zervos sued Trump in January 201
7, claiming that Trump defamed her and essentially called her a liar in 2016, following his October 2016 public statement about the alleged abuses.

After the lawsuit was filed, Trump's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the case. They have argued that the president has immunity from such lawsuits in state courts and that the case would run counter to Trump's official duties. They also said that Trump's frequent denials of accusations by Zervos and others were protected political speeches like statements.

Schecter dismissed these arguments in March 2018, writing that "no one is above the law."

In her ruling, she cited Clinton's sexual harassment lawsuit against Jones in 1997, where the United States Supreme Court held that a sitting president is not immune from being sued in federal court for unofficial acts.

Trump appealed against the ruling in March 2018, seeking to appeal to the court to review the issue of whether the constitution prevents a state court from hearing a lawsuit against a sitting president. He also claimed that Schecter was wrong in denying the president's proposal to reject or delay the case because of the First Amendment.
In May of that year, a New York appeals court allowed the discovery process to proceed as both parties were awaiting a decision on the appeal. Kasowitz also filed paperwork that appealed the court's decision.
In a 3-2 decision, a New York court of appeals ruled in March that the trial could proceed.
Earlier this month, Trump and the Trump Organization released telephone records during a three-month period of 2007 and 2008 that show several conversations between Trump and Zervos. Zervo's lawyer Mariann Wang said the data showed that Zervos and Trump "were exactly where she said they were exactly when she said they were there."
Last month, the Trump Organization provided Trump's travel plans for the alleged days in question.

Wang claimed that Zervo's account was confirmed "in close detail" by the calendar entries and itineraries from late 2007 to early 2008 – the period that includes the day Zervos says she met and was attacked by Trump. Wang says these documents "are consistent with Zervo's detailed public account with striking accuracy."

Zervos is one of more than a dozen other women who accused Trump of various forms of sexual misunderstanding. The president has vehemently denied all the accusations.

CNN's Lauren del Valle, Sonia Moghe and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

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