Trump Receives Subpoena From 'Apprentice' Contestant Who Claims The President Groped Her
A woman who once competed on The Apprentice has subpoenaed the Trump campaign for all documents regarding "any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately," BuzzFeed News has reported.
Summer Zervos, the woman behind the subpoena, came forward in October last year with claims President Trump groped her and attempted to kiss her during an encounter they'd had in 2007. Trump has denied the allegation, saying he never "greeted her inappropriately." In January, Zervos announced she was suing Trump for defamation.
According to court filings unearthed by BuzzFeed, the subpoena was actually issued to the Trump campaign in March. However, it was only recently entered into court filings as part of evidence, disputing allegations from Trump's legal team that the subpoena is both "far reaching" and "seeks wholly irrelevant information intended solely to harass the president."
The subpoena also specifically demands all documents concerning Summer Zervos, Jessica Leeds, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Temple Taggart, Kristin Anderson, Cathy Heller, Jill Harth, Jessica Drake, and John Barry (Barry is a cousin of Zervos who spoke out in support of Trump). Other documents requested include anything pertaining to the infamous Access Hollywood tape; Trump's whereabouts in December 2007; communications with or about Zervos; statements by Zervos regarding Trump; any payments made to or for Barry, and specific statements Trump and his surrogates made during the 2016 election, among other things.
According to court filings, Marc Kasowitz, Trump's private attorney, argued in March that Zervos' defamation lawsuit should be dropped or delayed under the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause as the case could potentially "distract a President from his public duties to the detriment of not only the President and his office but also the nation." Kasowitz goes on to characterize Zervos' lawsuit as "politically motivated."
In a press conference held Oct. 14, 2016, Zervos claimed Trump had kissed her on the mouth, touched her breast, and thrust his genitals at her during a meeting they'd had at the Beverly Hills Hotel sometime in 2007. She said that although she'd been "incredibly embarrassed" by his sexual advances she had thought his interest was genuine. However, Zervos said the leaked Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump can be heard boasting about using his celebrity status to grope women, had given her a new perspective on her encounter with Trump.
"After hearing the released audio tapes and your denials during the debate I felt that I had to speak out about your behavior," Zervos said at the press conference. "You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star."
Shortly after Zervos went public with her allegation, Trump told PEOPLE he "vaguely" remembered Zervos as "one of the many contestants" to have appeared on his reality TV show, The Apprentice, but denied having groped her. "To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago," Trump said. "That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I've conducted my life."
Neither the White House nor the Trump campaign have immediately returned Bustle's request for a comment.