Trump call records cited as backing sex-assault claim
A former reality-TV contestant who claims Donald Trump sexually assaulted her at a private dinner meeting more than a decade ago said newly unsealed phone records disclosed as part of her defamation lawsuit against the president corroborate elements of her story.
Summer Zervos, who appeared on Trump’s “Apprentice,’’ sued the president the month he took office, after he called her a liar and denied her claim that he kissed her inappropriately in his Trump Tower office and later groped her in his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
On Tuesday, a lawyer for Zervos sent the unsealed and unredacted records in an email, saying they back her claim of an encounter with Trump in December 2007 in Los Angeles. The Trump Organization last week agreed to give up its claim that the records were confidential.
The phone records show Trump called Zervos three minutes after his scheduled arrival in Los Angeles, where she lives, the lawyer said. Trump spoke with Zervos on her cell phone several times that day – Dec. 21, 2007 – right around the time of the alleged attack, her lawyer said in the email.
The documents provide “even more irrefutable proof that plaintiff’s detailed account of her interactions with defendant is accurate,” Zervos’s lawyer said in a newly unredacted filing that called for the records to be made public.
Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations, as well as abuse claim made by more than a dozen other women.
The law firm of Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the record of Trump’s calls with Zervos “in no way corroborates Ms. Zervos’s allegations.”
“In fact, at the time, Ms. Zervos, who initiated most of those calls, was pestering Mr. Trump for a job,” the firm said. “Clearly, her counsel is resorting to litigating this case in the press because her claims have no merit in court.”
The phone records were the last batch of once-confidential documents that Zervos argued should be made public. Last month, her lawyer successfully negotiated with the Trump Organization to make public a trove of other documents, including emails to Trump’s secretary arranging a meeting and relevant parts of Trump’s itinerary.
Zervos met with Trump in hopes of securing a job, after she’d appeared on his TV show in 2005. In her complaint, Zervos says she turned down Trump’s aggressive sexual advances at the hotel and left. She said she felt confused by the encounter – that maybe Trump had been testing her – and still wanted to talk to him about a job. Zervos said she returned the next day to meet Trump for a tour of the golf course, only to be ditched by the mogul.
“Ms. Zervos called Mr. Trump to tell him she was upset, because it felt like she was being penalized for not sleeping with him,” according to the complaint. “Mr. Trump said he was golfing and could not discuss it with her at that time.”
The case is Zervos v. Trump, 150522/2017, New York Supreme Court, New York County.