A New York appeals court on Thursday ruled President Donald Trump must face a defamation suit filed by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who accused the president of unwanted kissing and groping in 2007.
BREAKING: NY appellate court rules that President Trump must face defamation suit by sexual misconduct accuser Summer Zervos. Decision here: https://t.co/AMWQhNjJJT— Jack Newsham (@TheNewsHam) March 14, 2019
The state appeals court ruled Thursday against Trump’s request that the lawsuit be dismissed or delayed until he leaves office, Bloomberg News reported. The decision increases the chance that Trump might have to sit for questioning under oath, The Associated Press reported.
Zervos competed in Season 5 of "The Apprentice" in 2006, while Trump was still host of the reality television competition. In 2016, during the run-up to that year’s presidential election, Zervos said Trump kissed her "aggressively" and groped her chest in a hotel in Los Angeles when she met him in 2007 to discuss job prospects.
She filed a defamation suit against Trump in 2016, after he denied the allegations.
The latest decision came at the end of Trump’s third request to have Zervos’ lawsuit stymied, according to Bloomberg News.
"No one is above the law," the appeals court panel wrote, according to Bloomberg. "It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ’subject to the laws’ for purely private acts."
In a statement obtained Thursday by BuzzFeed News, Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz said the president plans to appeal the ruling.
NEW: Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, says they will appeal today's decision in the Summer Zervos case to the Court of Appeals, which is NY's highest court. An intermediate appeals court ruled today that Trump is not immune from state court lawsuits https://t.co/zNn86febZU pic.twitter.com/JUx9PMUBOn— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 14, 2019