Assault accuser Summer Zervos allowed to sue Donald Trump

Joseph diGenova.    
   Fox News

Schecter of NY state court in Manhattan rejected a request by Trump's lawyers that she dismiss the suit filed a year ago by Summer Zervos, who was a contestant on his reality television show "The Apprentice".

Trump's lawyers responded that the suit has no standing in state courts while their client is in office, and that the matter should be dismissed or stayed until Trump is no longer president.

In January 2017, Zervos filed a defamation suit against Trump, after he made inflammatory comments on the campaign trail about Zervos and other women who accused him of misconduct.

Trump's lawyers said that as president, he is immune from civil litigation, an argument that did not convince NY judge Jennifer Schecter.

"No one is above the law", the judge wrote in her ruling.

At least a dozen women aired complaints about past sexual misconduct by Trump before the election, although Zervos is the only one to bring court action.

A White House representative was not immediately available for comment on the ruling. "It is settled that the President of the United States has no immunity and is "subject to the laws" for purely private acts", Schecter wrote.

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In allowing Zervos' case to go forward, Schecter cited a 1997 US Supreme Court precedent allowing former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones to pursue a sexual harassment case against then-president Bill Clinton to proceed.

Zervos was a contestant on "The Apprentice" in 2005 and, after she was dispatched from the show with Trump's signature "You're Fired" line, continued to seek out Trump for advice and job opportunities, court papers state. Trump is separately embroiled in a scandal involving a $130,000 payment to an adult film actress - Stephanie Clifford, who performed under the name Stormy Daniels - who alleges he's attempting to prevent her from discussing a sexual relationship she had with him in 2006.

Trump could be asked under oath about his past treatment of women.

Also on Tuesday, a NY court ruled that Zervos, the former Apprentice contestant, would be allowed to move forward with a defamation suit against the president.

The decision may also complicate Trump's effort to dismiss allegations from various women about his behavior.

President Trump speaks with the media on March 13, 2018.

She came forward with the allegations shortly after publication of an "Access Hollywood" video that featured audio of Trump bragging about how he grabs women's genitals and gets away with it. Attorneys for Trump pushed back on multiple fronts, arguing that the suit was "politically motivated" and was built around "allegations of events that never occurred".

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