A Former Apprentice Contestant Just Filed a Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

Summer Zervos accused the president-elect of unwanted sexual assault.

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Former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, who was among a string of women to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct in the lead up to the election, announced on Tuesday that she is suing the president-elect for defamation, claiming Trump “maliciously” disparaged her and falsely claimed she was a liar.

“On November 11, 2016, I called on Mr. Trump to retract his statements about me calling me a liar,” Zervos, who is being represented by attorney Gloria Allred, announced in a press conference in Los Angeles. “I also called upon him to state that what I said about his behavior towards me was true. More than two months have gone by and he has not issued that retraction.”

She said that she would be willing to dismiss her case without monetary compensation if Trump admitted she had been telling the truth.

In October, Zervos claimed that Trump had groped her during a 2007 meeting where the two met to discuss hiring prospects within the Trump organization. The allegations came amid the publication of a bombshell 2005 Access Hollywood recording showing Trump bragging about groping women without their consent.

“Mr. Trump, when I met you I was so impressed with your talents,” she said in October. “I wanted to be like you. I wanted a job in your organization. Instead, you treated me as an object to be hit upon. I was incredibly embarrassed by your sexual advances.”

Trump vehemently denied the account, as well as the other sexual assault allegations that quickly emerged after the Access Hollywood recording. More than a dozen women came forward with sexual assault claims; Trump denied each one. He also dismissed his statements in the Access Hollywood recording as mere “locker room” banter.

“She knows that she will be attacked by Mr. Trump and his supporters and defenders, but she is willing to endure and suffer unwarranted attacks against her in order to vindicate her rights,” Allred said during Tuesday’s press conference.

Republican operative Cheri Jacobus filed a similar defamation lawsuit against the incoming president alleging he made statements against her that damaged her career. A judge recently dismissed the case.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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