SUMMER ZERVOS v. DONALD TRUMP DEFAMATION LAWSUIT

Summer Zervos is one of several women who have reported being subjected to unwanted sexual touching by President Donald J. Trump.  When Ms. Zervos came forward publicly to talk about her experience in October 2016, she was attacked by Mr. Trump, who used his enormous bully pulpit to falsely brand her as a liar.  

Ms. Zervos reported that Mr. Trump assaulted her in 2007 both at his New York office and in his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Her complaint details that he kissed her forcibly without her consent, grabbed her breast, and pressed his genitals against her. 

When the now infamous Access Hollywood tape became public, in which Mr. Trump boasted to Billy Bush about using his fame and power to sexually assault women on a widespread basis, and when Mr. Trump denied ever engaging in such behavior during a presidential debate two days later, Ms. Zervos came forward because she thought the public should know the truth.

Mr. Trump immediately attacked Ms. Zervos for telling the truth.  He described her experience, and those of other women who also have come forward to accuse him of forcibly groping them, as “made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED,” “100% fabricated and made-up charges,” “totally false,” “totally phoney [sic] stories, 100% made up by women (many already proven false),” “made up stories and lies,” “[t]otally made up nonsense.”  He falsely stated that “every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication. The events never happened.”  He accused Ms. Zervos of seeking “ten minutes of fame,” and nothing more.

On January 17, 2017, Ms. Zervos sued Mr. Trump in a New York state court.  Since then, Mr. Trump has aggressively sought to stop her lawsuit, first in the trial court, and currently in the appellate court.  The trial court denied his motion to dismiss the case, ruling that “a sitting president is not immune from being sued” for his personal conduct because “no one is above the law.”  Defendant then sought a stay of the case in the Appellate Division, and later in New York’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals. 

Both appellate courts denied Defendant’s multiple attempts for a stay.  The case is now progressing on two fronts: the substantive appeal will be argued before the Appellate Division on October 18, 2018, and the discovery phase has begun in the trial court.  

Discovery is well underway both between the parties and from third parties. Ms. Zervos’s lawyers have issued non-party subpoenas to the Trump Campaign, the producers of The Apprentice, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and others.  As discovery progresses, the costs of this case increase. 

The current discovery schedule requires that depositions of both parties be concluded by January 31, 2019. 

Ms. Zervos is represented by Mariann Meier Wang and her colleagues at Cuti Hecker Wang LLP , which is a small firm in New York City.  Ms. Zervos’s lawyers have put an enormous amount of work into the case, and thus far, she has not been able to pay them anything for their time or to reimburse them for their out-of-pocket costs.  The discovery phase of the case, which is now starting, is going to be very expensive, and she is trying to raise money to help pay the legal fees and costs necessary to pursue her case.  
If you would like to make a donation, please visit this GoFundMe page.

“The truth matters.  Thank you for your support.”
        --  Summer Zervos

This website contains general information about Cuti Hecker Wang LLP. The information on this website is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, as legal advice, and it is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The contents of any e-mail sent by you to Cuti Hecker Wang LLP or any of its attorneys through this website will not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as confidential. You should not rely upon or act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included on this website without seeking legal advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Cuti Hecker Wang LLP expressly disclaim all liability for actions taken or not taken based on any of the contents of this website. Cuti Hecker Wang LLP is not responsible for third party websites or content accessed through this website. This website contains Attorney Advertising.

Cuti Hecker Wang LLP
305 Broadway | New York, NY 10007 | 212.620.2600