Lawyer: Trump’s phone records back details of sex assault accuser’s claim
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Lawyer: Trump’s phone records back details of sex assault accuser’s claim

Data from 2007 shows president called former reality TV contestant Summer Zervos during period she claims he subjected her to unwanted kissing and groping in hotel

Summer Zervos leaves New York state appellate court in New York, October 18, 2018. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Summer Zervos leaves New York state appellate court in New York, October 18, 2018. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — US President Donald Trump’s cell phone records show a call to a former “Apprentice” contestant on a day when she says he subjected her to unwanted kissing and groping, according to a court filing.

Records filed in Summer Zervos’s defamation suit and obtained Monday by The Associated Press indicate that Zervos got a call from Trump’s phone on a day in December 2007, when she says he rang to invite her to dinner. She says she went hoping for career advice and ended up being sexually assaulted.

The records also show a call to Zervos from Trump’s phone the next afternoon and calls from her to his phone in the following months. Her lawyers say the phone calls support that she’s telling the truth.

Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz said Monday that Zervos’ claims “are entirely meritless and not corroborated by any documents.”

Zervos, a California restaurateur, was on the Trump-hosted reality show “The Apprentice” in 2006. She says she later contacted him in hopes of furthering her career.

Zervos says the then-businessman made unwanted advances twice in December 2007: once in his Trump Tower office in New York, and later at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

She was among more than a dozen women who came forward during his 2016 presidential campaign to accuse him of sexual assault or sexual harassment over the years.

Trump called them “liars” trying to harm him with “100 percent fabricated” stories. He also issued a statement denying Zervos’ allegations and retweeted a message calling them “a hoax.”

US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Lexington, Kentucky, November 4, 2019. (Timothy D. Easley/AP)

Both Trump and Zervos are Republicans.

Zervos sued Trump for defamation, saying he damaged her reputation by calling her a liar.

The phone records show “that numerous specific details that Ms. Zervos has provided about those interactions are true,” Zervos attorney Mariann Wang wrote in a previously redacted portion of an October 24 court filing. At the time, Trump’s lawyers were objecting to public disclosure of the phone records, but they have since dropped their opposition.

The phone records are for a now-defunct Trump cellphone number that leaked during the campaign; he later invited people to call it for a campaign message.

The phone records show a call to Zervos from Los Angeles on December 21, 2007, when Trump’s calendar shows he was due to fly there and head to the Beverly Hills Hotel.

A call to Zervos from Beverly Hills followed the next afternoon, a day when Zervos has said she and Trump briefly met at his Los Angeles-area golf course. His calendar records, which emerged previously in the lawsuit, show he was scheduled to be there.

Screen capture of Summer Zervos during her appearance in the reality TV show ‘The Apprentice’ in 2006. (YouTube)

The phone records also show two calls from Zervos to Trump’s phone on December 26, 2007. Zervos has said she’d gotten what she considered a low-salary job offer from the golf club and told Trump she felt she “was being penalized for not sleeping with him.”

The records show two more calls from Zervos in January and February 2008. She has said she had “a subsequent conversation about a job” with Trump and was told to stop using his private number, but she hasn’t specified when.

Zervos is seeking a retraction, an apology and damages.

Trump’s lawyers have said his statements were opinions and he had a free-speech right to express them. His attorneys have tried to get the case dismissed, or at least delayed until he’s no longer in office.

The two sides agreed Friday to a January 31 deadline for the president to undergo a deposition, a legal term for sworn questioning conducted out of court.

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