NY court denies bid by Trump to dismiss woman's defamation suit

Trump'Very sick individual behind bombings

A former The Apprentice contestant who said she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump can now sue him for defamation.

Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter ruled Tuesday that Summer Zervos' lawsuit can proceed.

She rejected Trump's claim that he was immune from being sued, finding "absolutely no authority" to dismiss litigation related "purely to unofficial conduct" exclusively because he occupied the White House.

"No one is above the law", Schecter wrote.

Authorities responded late Tuesday en masse to the scene of another reported explosion, which turned out to be unrelated to the previous cases and caused by an "incendiary device", not an explosive package, according to Austin police.

Zervos is one of more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct ranging from groping of buttocks and genitalia to unwanted kissing.

Playboy model Karen McDougal sued a media company that she said paid her US$150,000 (S$197,500) to keep quiet about an affair that she said she had with Mr Trump.

She sued in January past year.

Zervos had met Trump when she became a contestant on "The Apprentice" in 2005.

Ms Zervos said Mr Trump kissed her against her will at a 2007 meeting in his NY office, and later groped her in a Beverly Hills hotel at a meeting about a possible job.

Summer Zervos filed the suit previous year after Trump said publicly during the 2016 presidential campaign that she and other women accusing him of unwanted sexual contact were making up their claims.

He also republished on Twitter another a post that called Zervos' accusations a "hoax". Her lawsuit sought damages and an apology.

Schecter cited litigation against President Bill Clinton in the 1990s in ruling in favor of Zervos on Tuesday.

Schechter's decision comes as lawyers representing Trump face another suit - this one filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in early March by porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims Trump sought to silence her shortly before the 2016 election. Instead, the only court action to stem from these allegations has been Zervos' claim that he defamed her and his other accusers by branding them liars.

"In their context, defendant's repeated statements ... can not be characterized simply as opinion, heated rhetoric or hyperbole", Schecter wrote. She claims Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York City office, and on a separate occasion in Beverly Hills, she alleges he kissed her aggressively and touched her breast.



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