Summer Zervos, a former Apprentice contestant who accuses Donald Trump of assault, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the president-elect.
She alleges Donald Trump forced himself on her in 2007.
The lawsuit, which Summer Zervos announced at a news conference, alleges Donald Trump is a “liar and misogynist” who “debased and denigrated” her.
The news came just three days before Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Donald Trump faced a spate of misconduct allegations in the run up to the election, all of which he has denied.
At the time, he dismissed them as “false and ridiculous” and said they were “sick” and driven by fame, money or politics.
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“Since Mr. Trump has not issued a retraction, as I requested, he has therefore left me with no alternative but to sue him in order to vindicate my reputation,” Summer Zervos told journalists in LA on January 17.
The former Apprentice contestant was joined by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, a Democratic Party activist, who said the plaintiff’s allegations had passed a lie detector test.
Summer Zervos, 41, is one of several women who came forward to accuse the incoming 45th president of assault after the October release of a 2005 videotape in which he is heard making lewd comments about groping women.
The former reality show contestant said Donald Trump had assaulted her during a meeting to discuss job opportunities at a Beverly Hills hotel.
Donald Trump has not filed a lawsuit against any of the women, despite an earlier threat to sue the accusers.
Summer Zervos’ lawsuit alleges that Donald Trump defamed her by denying her account and accusing her and other women of fabricating assault claims.
She asked the president-elect to retract his words late last year, but he declined to do so.
Gloria Allred said Donald Trump “knowingly, intentionally and maliciously threw each of these women under the bus” and that repeatedly calling them “liars” in public caused distress.
Summer Zervos added that she would be willing to rescind the lawsuit if Donald Trump retracts the statements he made and acknowledges his behavior towards her.
Following her allegations, the Trump campaign released a statement from someone it identified as Summer Zervos’ first cousin.
John Barry wrote that he was “shocked and bewildered” by her allegations, insisting Summer Zervos had only previously said “glowing” things about Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has rejected fresh claims of assault, saying they are part of a plot to damage his presidential campaign.
The Republican candidate told a rally in North Carolina on October 14: “It’s not hard to find a small handful of people willing to make false smears.”
Two new accusations came from an ex-Apprentice contestant who cited a 2007 incident and a woman who described a case from the early 1990s.
The latest polls suggest Donald Trump is losing ground in some of the key battleground states.
During the rally, Donald Trump said the accusations were “sick” and false, and driven by fame, money or politics.
“Or for the simple reason they want to stop our movement, they want to stop our campaign. Very simple,” he told the crowd.
The New York billionaire added: “These claims defy reason, truth, logic, common sense. They are made without supporting witnesses.
“When the media does what they’re doing now, that’s rigging the system… The election is rigged.”
Saying he was ignoring his own advisers by commenting on the allegations, Donald Trump suggested that he would never have been attracted to Jessica Leeds, one of this accusers.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.”
One of the new allegations involves Kristin Anderson, who told the Washington Post Donald Trump touched her through her underwear at a Manhattan nightspot in the 1990s.
Kristin Anderson, now 46, said she was “very grossed out and weirded out”.
The publication said it had approached Kristin Anderson after learning of her story through a third party, and she had spent several days deciding whether to go public.
Donald Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement emailed to the Washington Post: “Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, Summer Zervos, who was a contestant on season five of The Apprentice in 2006, said Donald Trump forced himself on her at a the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Summer Zervos, now 41, had been invited by Donald Trump to discuss job opportunities.
She told an emotional news conference in Los Angeles that she met Donald Trump in 2007 in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where the property mogul greeted her by kissing her on the mouth.
Summer Zervos said Donald Trump asked her to sit next to him on a sofa where he “grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast”.
She fought back tears as she said Donald Trump attempted to lead her into the bedroom, even as she fended off his advances.
Summer Zervos was flanked during the press conference by well-known lawyer Gloria Allred, who has previously represented alleged assault victims of entertainer Bill Cosby.
At the time of the alleged assault, Donald Trump was newly married to his third and current wife, Melania.
Summer Zervos said she was spurred to come forward after Donald Trump denied during October 9 presidential debate ever having committed assault.
Donald Trump rebutted the suggestion on national TV as he was asked about a leaked recording from 2005 in which he is heard bragging that he can force himself on women because he is a star.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s campaign presented a British man who disputed the account of Jessica Leeds, now 74. She alleged that when she was 38, Donald Trump groped her on a flight to New York, acting “like an octopus”.
The New York Post reported that Anthony Gilberthorpe contacted Donald Trump’s campaign to counter the claim.
In an interview with the paper Anthony Gilberthorpe said: “I was there, I was in a position to know that what she said was wrong, wrong, wrong.”
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