Ex-Trump campaign worker seeks to void NDAs to discuss 2016 race
A woman who claims she experienced harassment as a staffer on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign is asking a New York court to void the nondisclosure agreements the campaign required all workers to sign.
Jessica Denson, a Los Angeles-based actress who worked on the campaign in August 2016, filed a class-action lawsuit Monday seeking a ruling that the campaign’s NDAs were too broad to be enforced. One provision allows Trump to block disclosure of any information “that Mr. Trump insists remain private,” she said.
“There is nothing unlawful in the abstract about the use of NDAs, including by political campaigns,” Denson said in her complaint. But the agreement demanded by the campaign “is wildly broad, prohibiting a vast array of speech about a candidate for the highest office and the current president of the United States – forever.”
The suit, which would cover at least 100 former campaign staffers, is the latest twist in a three-year legal fight between Denson and Trump.
Denson has sued the campaign twice before – to demand $25 million in damages for the alleged harassment and defamation and also to void the NDA. Denson also previously attempted to file a class arbitration demand.
Lawrence Rosen, a lawyer who represented the campaign in the earlier cases declined to comment on the new suit because he has yet to be retained to work on it. He has previously strongly defended the campaign’s use of NDAs.
The campaign said Denson’s allegations violated her NDA and hit back with a $1.5 million arbitration claim. The campaign was awarded $49,508 plus interest, but a unanimous New York state appeals court overturned the arbitration award in February, saying Denson’s claims were protected by “a deep-rooted, long-standing public policy in favor of a person’s right to make statements during the course of court proceedings without penalty.”
Denson claims in her new suit that the 2016 NDAs violated New York state contract law and the state and federal constitutions.