On the same day Donald Trump’s ex-right hand man Michael Cohen told a federal judge he paid a porn star and a Playmate hundreds of thousands of dollars of election-influencing hush money “at the direction of the candidate,” Summer Zervos wants the former Apprentice host to hand over more information on his “sexual misconduct” with a dozen other women.
Or put it this way, if Trump thinks less is more and could help make the defamation action just go away, the ex-Apprentice contestant wants a lot more.
“Defendant’s counsel have refused to produce any documents or information responsive to the interrogatories and document requests concerning such women,” said Zervos’ lawyer Mariann Wang on Tuesday, the same day Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty this afternoon by a federal jury on eight felony counts of tax and bank fraud.
“This is discovery, not trial, and the legal standard strongly favors disclosure of even potentially relevant information, notwithstanding whether the information ultimately will be admissible at trial,” Wang adds in the latest filing (read it here) in Zervos case that has now gone on more than 18 months. “Defendant’s desire to thwart this inquiry is understandable, but his legal position has no merit.”
Speaking of Trump’s legal position in a case he has unsuccessfully tried to have killed, Wang turned on that today with a legal carving knife.
“It is relevant to rebutting Defendant’s defense that the defamatory statements were substantially true as a whole,” Wang asserts of the statements Trump made during the 2016 campaign and since. “It is relevant to Defendant’s pattern of behavior with respect to luring women under false pretenses and intentionally subjecting them to sudden sexual contact,” the exhibit-rich memorandum of law also states. “It is relevant to proving both that Defendant made his defamatory statements with common-law malice, such that Plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages, and that Defendant acted with actual malice, which Defendant contends (incorrectly; but that is for the Court to decide later) is necessary for there to be liability.”
In what may or may not sting Trump and his attorney Marc Kasowitz the most today, Wang concludes, “And it is relevant to Defendant’s credibility.”
To the media in 2016 and then in her January 2017-filed complaint, 2006 Apprentice contestant Zervos, once repped by attorney Gloria Allred, claimed Trump sexually assaulted her twice in 2007. She says that at a lunch meeting at Trump’s New York office, Trump kissed her twice without consent. The same year, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Trump kissed her, grabbed her breasts and “thrust his genitals” at her, Zervos alleges. The statute of limitations on such misconduct charges has long since run out, but after Trump said Zervos’ claims were “total fiction” and “all false stuff,” the former reality show hopeful was able to file a suit against him for being called a liar.
Zervos has also claimed Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood comments and his subsequent denial of claims from several women who claimed he assaulted them caused her to speak out.
Kasowitz and crew have repeatedly sought to delay the case until after Trump leaves the White House, if they can’t get it tossed out beforehand. Those options both look increasingly unlikely after the scorched Earth of today.