New York Supreme Court Judge Jennifer G. Schecter recently ruled in favor of Summer Zervos, who has accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, allowing her defamation lawsuit to proceed.
Trump’s legal team tried to argue that because Zervos was suing Trump in a state court, the court had no jurisdiction over the President. In her ruling, Judge Schecter stated that no one, not even the President, is above the law.
Summer Zervos is a restaurant owner and former contestant on The Apprentice. She alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007.
After her stint on The Apprentice, Zervos contacted Trump about a job opportunity. According to Zervos, she met Trump at his office at Trump Tower where he kissed her on the lips twice, then said he’d love to have her work for him.
Zervos met Trump for dinner at the Beverly HIlls Hotel but was instead led to a bungalow by Trump’s security guard. There, Trump sexually assaulted her, “touching her breast and pressing his genitals against her.”
The statute of limitations on this assault has passed, however, so Zervos is not suing Trump for sexual assault but for defamation. Zervos spoke publicly about the sexual assault during the presidential campaign, after which Trump called her and all of his other accusers liars.
He said that he never behaved inappropriately with Zervos and that “all of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
According to the lawsuit, “Mr. Trump’s false, defamatory statements about Ms. Zervos — that, among other things, she made up her descriptions of Mr. Trump’s misconduct as a hoax, and that she is creating a ‘phony’ story just so that she can be famous — have been deeply detrimental to Ms. Zervos’s reputation, honor and dignity.”
Zervos does not have to prove that Trump sexually assaulted her, only that his claims were defamatory. Zervos has said that the comments were “painful and demoralizing” and have caused her business to suffer.
The ruling is a win not only for Zervos, but possibly for Trump’s other accusers and the rest of us as well. This could open the door for more of Trump’s accusers and for Trump to face the same situation as Bill Clinton.
If the case makes it to the discovery phase, Zervos’s lawyers can request documents from Trump’s campaign not just about his interactions with Zervos but other women as well, in an effort to establish a pattern of behavior. They could then potentially release these documents to the public.
Additionally, the discovery phase could also lead to a deposition in which Trump would have to answer questions under oath. Since Trump seems unable to stop himself from lying, there’s a high chance he would end up perjuring himself and face the same consequences as Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones case.
Trump’s lawyers have already said they will appeal the ruling, but this win could still potentially have a huge impact.
This ruling also came in the midst of near-constant Stormy Daniels news and on the same day Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, filed her own lawsuit against Trump in California. In this lawsuit, McDougal is seeking to be released from her contract in which she was paid $150,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
All of this leads one to wonder how on Earth Donald Trump is still the President. Maybe these women will be the reason he isn’t much longer.