Summer Zervos shared allegations of Trump's sexual assault with lawyers in 2011, court filing states
Posted October 24, 2019 7:53 p.m. EDT
CNN — Summer Zervos, the former "Apprentice" contestant who has accused Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2007, presented evidence Thursday in a new court filing to back up her claims.
Zervos contacted lawyers about the allegations in 2011 and reached out to Fox News about the matter in August 2015, according to a new filing from her lawyers.
The California-based restaurant owner, who is a Republican, is suing Trump for defamation after he essentially called her a liar following her public statement in October 2016 about the alleged assault.
"The fact that plaintiff sought legal counsel in 2011 and spoke about this to others including a news organization -- years before the events of 2016 at issue in this case -- strongly supports the inferences that her core narrative is true," states the filing from Zervos' lawyer Mariann Wang. The filing cites emails and calendar entries to back up the claim.
Trump has denied assaulting Zervos.
Wang notes that Zervos reported Trump's alleged sexual assaults to family members and close friends immediately after they occurred and then again over the years and considered taking legal action years before.
She also "reached out to multiple lawyers back in 2011, including to Gloria Allred, whose records reflect that contact," Wang writes. Allred represented Zervos at the time of her October 2016 news conference at which she first accused Trump of sexual assault, but later stepped away from the case.
The filing includes an email to Fox News dated August 9, 2015. In it, Zervos writes Trump acted inappropriately towards her.
"I was on the Apprentice. After the show was completed, Trump invited me to a hotel room under the guise of working for him. He had a different agenda. Please contact me to speak further as I have tried to make contact," the email states, under the subject line "Trump Hit On Me."
Wang also argues that Zervos' account has been corroborated "in close detail" by documents produced from Trump's own files during the discovery process -- specifically calendar entries and itineraries from late 2007 through early 2008 -- the period during which Zervos says she met with and was assaulted by Trump. Wang says these documents "line up with Zervos' detailed public account with striking accuracy."
For instance, Wang says Trump's calendar shows him flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with his bodyguard Keith Schiller and staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles on December 21, 2007 -- the same night Zervos says she met him there.
Zervos also points to emails exchanged with Trump's assistant Rhona Graff regarding a visit she made to New York and a hard copy of a New York Times from December 2007 that she says Trump gave her, as evidence of their interactions.
Trump's lawyer rejected Wang's argument in the new filing.
"Ms. Zervos' claims are entirely meritless and not corroborated by any documents," said Marc Kasowitz, founding partner of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.
Ongoing discovery dispute
Wang argues that despite Trump's claims that there was "no truth" to Zervos' allegations, "he has now been forced to produce documents from his own files confirming that he and Plaintiff were exactly where she said they were exactly when she said they were there."
The Trump Organization previously declared these documents "confidential" and only after months of legal wrangling and a recent telephone conference with the court did Trump and the Trump Organization "finally and begrudgingly agreed to lift a number of these baseless designations," according to the filing.
The two sides are now in a dispute over additional documents. Wang says the Trump Organization has improperly designated nine pages of records as "confidential" because they contain the President's former cell phone number.
"That argument is nothing short of absurd given that Defendant no longer uses that number and, indeed, himself publicized it to his millions of Twitter followers during the 2016 campaign," the filing states.
Wang believes the documents the Trump team is withholding will corroborate Zervos' account "with even more granularity and with a degree of precision that plaintiff could not have known were she not telling the truth." However, Wang's elaboration in the subsequent paragraphs is redacted, given the current dispute over confidentiality.