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Trump fails to halt ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s defamation lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York state appeals court docket on Thursday denied U.S. President Donald Trump’s bid to halt a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on his actuality TV present “The Apprentice” who accused him of constructing undesirable sexual advances.

U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a “California Sanctuary State Roundtable” on the White Home in Washington. U.S., Could 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In a one-page order, the Appellate Division in Manhattan didn’t clarify why it refused to remain the lawsuit by Summer season Zervos whereas the president appeals a March 20 decrease court docket ruling that allowed the California restaurateur to pursue her case.

The White Home was not instantly obtainable for remark.

Trump is interesting a ruling by Justice Jennifer Schecter of the State Supreme Court docket in Manhattan, which rejected his declare that as president he was immune from lawsuits over non-public conduct predating his coming into the White Home.

Zervos, an “Apprentice” contestant in 2005, accused Trump of kissing her towards her will at a 2007 assembly in New York and later groping her at a Beverly Hills resort.

She first got here ahead in October 2016, a month earlier than the presidential election, following the discharge of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” recording wherein Trump spoke in vulgar phrases about girls.

Whereas Trump apologized for his feedback, he mentioned repeatedly throughout his marketing campaign that every one accusations made by girls after the “Access Hollywood” recording turned public have been “lies.” He additionally republished on Twitter a put up calling Zervos’ claims a hoax.

Zervos has mentioned these denials amounted to defamation and that diners prevented her restaurant after she was branded a liar.

“We look forward to proving Ms. Zervos’s claim that defendant lied when he maliciously attacked her for reporting his sexually abusive behavior,” Zervos’ regulation agency, Cuti Hecker Wang mentioned in an announcement on Thursday.

A number of girls have accused Trump of improper sexual conduct or mentioned he had affairs with them.

Stormy Daniels, a pornographic movie actress whose actual title is Stephanie Clifford, is searching for to finish an settlement wherein Trump’s private lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to not focus on her alleged affair with Trump.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; enhancing by Chizu Nomiyama, Richard Chang and Jonathan Oatis

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