At a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred Friday afternoon, Summer Zervos, a former candidate on The Apprentice, said that Donald Trump groped her when she met him at the Beverly Hills hotel to discuss employment opportunities in 2007. “You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star,” Zervos said, addressing Trump.
Allred said at the presser that Trump’s pussygrabbing comments on the 2005 Access Hollywood tape “hit a nerve,” and that she decided it was her duty to speak out. Allred also said that Zervos told two people close to her about the alleged groping shortly after it occurred.
“Instead of a job, Ms. Zervos claims she got the Donald all over her, kissing her, touching her breasts, leading her into his bedroom,” Allred said. “Donald, before you can become President of the United States, you must first learn to treat women with respect.”
Zervos spoke after Allred, so softly she was at times difficult to hear. She said that in 2007, following her appearance on the show the year before, she contacted Trump’s office to see if he could discuss job opportunities. She said that he kissed her “on the lips” before their lunch meeting began, and complimented her on having “a large set of balls” during her time on the show, then said he would “love to have me work for him.”
“As I was about to leave, he again kissed me on the lips,” she said. “This made me feel nervous and embarrassed, as this is not what I wanted or expected.”
Zervos said she left hurriedly, and called both a friend and her parents, upset. But she agreed to meet Trump a few days later in Los Angeles, where he said he would be on business. Once at the Beverly Hills Hotel, she said, she was taken to a bungalow where she saw “Mr. Trump’s clothes” on the bed. She said Trump greeted her in “a sing-song voice,” then emerged from a back room dressed in a suit and kissed her “open-mouthed, pulling me towards him.”
Becoming teary, Zervos also recalled that Trump kissed her again, aggressively, and put a hand on her breast, despite her trying to push him away several times. “Come on man, get real,” she told him, more than once. Trump, she said, repeated those words back to her as he “thrust his genitals” against her.
Zervos said that Trump eventually stopped trying to touch her and started treating the encounter “like a job interview,” ordering dinner for them and asking her about a mortgage on her home. “He told me to meet him in the morning at his golf course in Palos Verdes.” She said at first she viewed the sexual behavior as “some kind of test” and wondered if she could still get a job.
She didn’t: Zervos says she was eventually offered a much lower salary job at the Trump Organization, but told not to use his “private number” ever again. She told him, she said, that she felt she was being “penalized” for not sleeping with him.
Zervos, a restaurant owner from Huntington Beach, CA, was the first contestant on Season 5 of The Apprentice to be let go. She didn’t take questions after giving her statement. Allred said “she’s not seeking either money or fame” and that Zervos was “very reluctant” to come forward.
Trump has generally denied the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, including a new one earlier today reported by the Washington Post, in which a woman accused him of groping her at a nightclub in the early ‘90s.