Former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, one of multiple women who’ve accused President-elect Donald Trump of sexual assault or misconduct, is now suing him for defamation.
Zervos first went public in mid-October, alleging that Trump non-consensually kissed and groped her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007, where she met with him to discuss a job opportunity. Zervos announced the defamation suit alongside her lawyer, Gloria Allred—who’s representing several Trump accusers—at a press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles, as thousands of miles away organizers of Trump’s inauguration continue preparing the U.S. Capitol grounds.
Reading from the lawsuit, which she said was filed in New York Tuesday morning, Allred explained that Zervos initially thought Trump’s alleged behavior was an aberration, a test, or something he regretted. But soon, “Summer Zervos saw Trump’s behavior for what it was: that of a sexual predator,” Allred said in her opening statement.
Multiple women levied sexual-assault or -misconduct allegations against Trump last fall after the release of a 2005 video from the celebrity-news show Access Hollywood. In the video, Trump is heard bragging on a hot mic about kissing and groping women without their consent—conduct he’s repeatedly denied ever engaging in. The Washington Post has a detailed rundown of all the women who’ve levied accusations against Trump, from Jessica Leeds, who told The New York Times that Trump groped her on an airplane in the early 1980s, to Natasha Stoynoff, a People magazine reporter who claims Trump “forc[ed] his tongue down my throat” while she was on assignment in 2005.