Just three days before he’s set to be sworn in, Donald Trump is being sued by one of the women who accused him of sexual assault. Summer Zervos announced in November that Trump had sexually assaulted her while she was a contestant on his television show The Apprentice. He responded by accusing her and other accusers of lying. But now Zervos has filed suit against him in court, and she’s represented by powerful attorney Gloria Allred. But Zervos says she doesn’t care about the money, and she’ll drop the suit if Trump publicly admits he sexually assaulted her.
It’s a novel legal strategy, whereby Zervos is suing Trump for defamation – not assault – but the lawsuit and testimony will nonetheless center entirely around that alleged assault. It also means that Zervos can’t be written off as merely looking for money, as she’s offering Trump the opportunity to make this lawsuit go away without it costing him a dime. However, if he admits he sexually assaulted her, his already shaky presidency would become fully crippled out of the gate, and likely never recover.
This suit by Zervos may also serve as a litmus test. If it achieves any of its goals, his other accusers could also sue, tying up his entire term in depositions and controversy.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report