Former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos won one and lost one in court today.
Zervos, who has accused President Trump of groping and kissing her without permission in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007 and subsequently sued for defamation, cannot force the President to turn over evidence on other sexual assault accusations.
However, she can get communications and documents related specifically to her, said Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter. Zervos was seeking Trump’s phone records and calendar from 2007.
Trump must also respond to question on whether he “had a strategy in responding” to allegations by other women, the judge said.
Zervos is suing after Trump called her allegations – released just before his inauguration – “made-up stuff” and “totally fake news.”
Earlier this year, a panel of five judges in the New York Supreme Court appellate division denied a motion to stay the suit (read the ruling here). Trump’s lawyers claimed allowing the lawsuit to proceed could interfere with the president’s official duties and would unfairly put him under the purview of a state court judge.
The decision means the Zervos lawsuit can proceed unless further appeals by Trump go to the New York State Supreme Court, or a federal court intervenes.
Zervos has claimed Trump groped and kissed her when she came to him in 2016 seeking an opportunity, years after her 2005 appearance on The Apprentice show. She 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.
When Trump also denied Zervos’s claim, she filed a lawsuit for defamation three days before his inauguration. The suit claimed her reputation was damaged by Trump’s denial. Trump’s lawyers have since sought to halt the suit, or at least delay it until after he leaves office.
Complicating matters is that Zervos’s suit was filed in New York state court. Trump’s attorneys have argued that the venue would give a state judge improper authority over the president, a position rejected by a lower court in March.