January 23, 2019

Judge rules Trump must sit for deposition in defamation lawsuit

08 June 2018, 10:19 | Devin Moran

Summer Zervos leaves State Supreme Court with her attorney Gloria Allred on Dec. 5 2017 in New York

Summer Zervos lawyer faces off against Trump's reps in court

Ms Zervos has sued the president for saying her sexual misconduct claims were lies.

At a hearing on Tuesday, Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, argued unsuccessfully before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter that Zervos' lawsuit should not go forward until the New York Court of Appeals, and if necessary, the U.S. Supreme Court, decides the issue.

Summer Zervos accused Trump of "very aggressively" kissing and groping her in a 2007 encounter at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

A NY judge set a series of deadlines for former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, as she declined to put the case on hold pending an appeal from Trump's legal team.

In a hearing in NY state court on Tuesday, Zervos' attorney Marianne Wang argued that the campaign inappropriately "drew a line" on that information, and told reporters after the hearing that Zervos is trying to prove "the falsity of [Trump's] statements, including his falsity about other women". As for information about other women who aren't part of the case, "those claims, that evidence ... is irrelevant", he said.

The court hearing was the first since a Manhattan judge turned down Trump's bid to dismiss Summer Zervos' defamation lawsuit or delay it until after his presidency. His lawyers have also asked a NY appeals court to put Zervos' suit on hold after Schecter rejected an earlier claim that a sitting president can't be sued in a state court. Zervos, who was a contestant on Trump's former reality TV show "The Apprentice" in 2006, says Trump defamed her on the campaign trail when he publicly accused her and other women of being liars. Zervos was one of more than a dozen women to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct during his campaign.

The president has vehemently denied all of the women's claims, which he called "100 percent fabricated", and he retweeted a tweet describing Zervos's claim as a "hoax". She is seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages.

Besides the campaign records, Zervos' lawyers have subpoenaed other information including any "Apprentice" material that features Trump talking about Zervos or discussing other female contestants in a sexual or inappropriate way.

Mr Trump's lawyers have said his statements were true, and also that his remarks were "non-defamatory opinions" that came amid the heated public debate of a national political campaign.

Trump's lawyers have argued that he should be immune from the litigation under the Constitution, and are trying to overturn a March decision by Schecter denying their request to throw out the case on those grounds.

Despite Schechter's order that Trump must sit for a deposition, there's still a chance he could avoid that.

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