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Donald Trump Wants Immunity from Apprentice Contestant’s Defamation Lawsuit
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Attorney Gloria Allred and former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. Photo courtesy of Heavy.

Summary: President Donald Trump has asked for presidential immunity from a former Apprentice contestant suing him for defamation.

President Donald Trump has been accused by numerous women of sexual harassment and he’s been caught on tape admitting to grabbing women “by the p*ssy.” One alleged victim, a former contestant on his hit reality show The Apprentice, sued him before he was sworn in as our 45th president, but POTUS asserted in court that he should be immune because of his White House duties.

  
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Summer Zervos competed on The Apprentice in 2007, and in October of last year, she came forward and said that Trump, who hosted and produced the show, kissed and groped her in a Beverly Hills hotel room. She said that she had approached him about job opportunities but instead was assaulted.

In her lawsuit, Zervos said that she was inspired to come forward after seeing Trump’s infamous leaked Access Hollywood tape with Billy Bush.  In that video, Trump could be overheard saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Zervos said when she realized Trump had a history of mistreating women, she knew that she had to address his predatory behavior.

Trump denied Zervos’ accusations, and in typical Trump fashion, he tweeted that the case had “100% fabricated and made-up charges” and “totally made up nonsense.”

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Famous feminist attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Zervos, demanded a retraction, which Trump refused to issue. Because of that, Zervos sued the Republican president for defamation in January, days before his inauguration.

Trump’s private attorneys responded to the defamation suit this week in court. They stated that the supremacy clause of the U.S. constitution bars the lawsuit since it could “distract a President from his public duties to the detriment of not only the President and his office but also the Nation.”



Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz used Bill Clinton’s 1997 sexual harassment lawsuit Clinton v. Jones as an example in his filings. In that case, former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones sued Clinton before he was inaugurated, and the Supreme Court said that although presidents were not immune to civil litigation, immunity in these lawsuits must be decided early due to the importance and burden of presidential duties.

Additionally, Kasowitz said that he would file a motion to dismiss Zervos’ lawsuit and that Trump wanted an apology as well as damages.

Allred said on Tuesday that Trump should “not enjoy legal immunity” from their case.

“The United States Supreme Court address this legal immunity issue in Clinton v. Jones and determined unanimously that no man is above the law and that includes the president of United States,” Allred said. “We look forward to arguing this issue in court.”

The Apprentice lawsuit is being closely watched because of what it could mean for Trump and his other pending lawsuits. Before he took office in January, he had almost 75 lawsuits pending against him, according to a USA Today investigation.

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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