World

The Apprentice contestant sues Trump

LOS ANGELES: US President-elect Donald Trump has been hit with a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on his reality television show The Apprentice who had previously accused him of sexual misconduct.

Ms Summer Zervos's lawsuit claimed that Mr Trump lied when responding to allegations that he tried to kiss and grope her without her consent.

Mr Trump had "debased and denigrated Ms Zervos with false statements about her," the lawsuit said.

He had faced a spate of sexual misconduct accusations in the weeks leading up to the Nov 8 election, but denied any wrongdoing and vowed to sue the more than dozen women behind the claims.

"All of these liars will be sued after the election is over," Mr Trump had said last October. He has yet to file a suit.

Ms Zervos's attorney Gloria Allred said her client - who had previously said she would not take any legal action against him if he did not sue and if he retracted his comments - had a change of heart as Mr Trump showed no remorse for his alleged behaviour and had "lied" to cover it up.

She said her 42-year-old client had passed a lie detector test concerning her allegations before filing the suit.

"It takes a great deal of courage to sue the most powerful man on the planet," Ms Allred said.

She added that her client is aware of the risks she is taking by going after him.

"No one is above the law, including the President-elect," Ms Allred said.

Ms Zervos said she would be willing to drop the case if Mr Trump retracts his comments about her and if he acknowledges she had told the truth about their encounter.

Last year, she revealed that Mr Trump had made unwanted sexual advances towards her when she met him at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles in 2007 to discuss career opportunities.

Mr Trump moved towards her aggressively during the encounter and touched her on the breast, she alleged. 
- AFP

donald trumpsexual assaultcourt