A former Apprentice contestant who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault has filed a subpoena for all documents from his campaign pertaining to “any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately,” Buzzfeed reports.
Summer Zervos has said that Trump assaulted her on two separate occasions while she was on the show in 2007, claiming he kissed her twice on the lips during a meeting in his office in New York City, and again in Beverly Hills, where he also allegedly touched her breast. She first made the accusations last October; Trump denied them, saying at the time:
To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14 of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California,” Trump said.
Zervos, in response, sued Trump for defamation, and served the subpoena as part of the suit. Specifically, her legal team—which includes Gloria Allred—have requested “all documents concerning any accusations that were made during Donald J. Trump’s election campaign for president, that he subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior.” The lawsuit cites at least nine women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, including Jessica Leeds, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Temple Taggart, Kristin Anderson, Cathy Heller, Jill Harth, and Jessica Drake.
Additionally, the subpoena asks for documents relating to the leaked Access Hollywood tape in which Trump memorably bragged about grabbing women’s genitals—a revelation that became public mere weeks before he was elected president.
The subpoena, which was issued in March, only entered the court file last month. Trump’s lawyers have tried to bat away the charges, insisting that the president is protected from civil lawsuits in state court while he’s in office. As they argued in a court motion:
“Ms. Zervos does not and cannot state a cause of action for defamation under California law, which applies here because Ms. Zervos is domiciled and was purportedly injured there. The allegedly defamatory statements were made during a national political campaign that involved heated political debate in political forums. Statements made in that context are properly viewed by courts a part of the expected fiery rhetoric, hyperbole and opinion that is squarely protected by the First Amendment.”
Trump’s response to Zervos’s motion is due Octobr 31.