New York Appeals Court Rules Defamation Suit Against Donald Trump Can Proceed
The New York State Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos’s defamation lawsuit against ex-President Donald Trump can proceed, following a fourteen-month-long delay due to uncertainty over whether the United States Constitution shields a sitting president from being sued.
In a one-sentence ruling, the court said that Trump’s “motion to dismiss appeal granted and appeal dismissed, without costs, upon the ground that the issues presented have become moot.”
In other words, Zervos’s case, which was originally filed in 2017, can proceed because Trump is no longer the president.
Zervos has had her sights set on deposing Trump, whom she accused of sexually assaulting her more than a decade ago.
“Now as a private citizen, the defendant has no further excuse to delay justice from Ms. Zervos and we are eager to get back to the trial court and prove her claims,” Beth Wilkinson, one of Zervos’s attorneys, said.
“Zervos has alleged that Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York City office, and on a separate occasion in Beverly Hills, she alleges he kissed her aggressively and touched her breast,” noted CNN.
“Trump said that he had never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately. He later referred on Twitter to her story and others as ‘made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED,” added The New York Times.
It was that denial that prompted Zervos to sue.
Tuesday’s ruling increases the likelihood that Trump will have to testify under oath about his relationship with Zervos.
“The trial court ruled against him, the appellate division ruled against him and as it was pending here, he left office, so the issue disappeared,” said Gary Spencer, a spokesman for the court.