- A New York State court said Donald Trump should give a deposition in Summer Zervos’ lawsuit by December 23.
- Zervos sued Trump, accusing him of defamation after he denied her sexual assault accusation and called her a liar.
- The lawsuit stalled during Trump’s presidency but is now moving forward.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A New York state court said that Donald Trump must submit to a deposition by Christmas, moving forward a stalled lawsuit from Summer Zervos, the former “Apprentice” contestant who accused the ex-president of sexual assault.
In a virtual court hearing Monday afternoon, Michael Rand, a law clerk for New York State Judge Jennifer Schechter, who is overseeing the lawsuit, instructed lawyers for both Trump and Zervos to complete the factual discovery phase by December 23. That phase includes depositions of both Trump and Zervos.
“I do want to have an order entered and have the close of that discovery before Christmas,” Rand said.
Zervos filed the lawsuit against Trump in 2017, accusing him of defamation when he publicly denied her accusation of sexual assault and called his accusers liars.
Zervos claimed Trump kissed her against her will in 2007 in New York, after she appeared on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” and later groped her in a California hotel. Overall, 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit had been gummed up in the courts during Trump’s presidency, as his lawyers argued that a sitting president shouldn’t have to spend time defending himself against lawsuits. But as Insider previously reported, Trump didn’t fight Zervos’ attorneys’ attempts to move the lawsuit forward once he left office earlier this year.
Attorneys for Zervos and Trump sparred in the Monday hearing over the remaining documents they needed before they could take depositions for the remaining parties.
Alina Habba, the attorney representing Trump in the case, said she wants additional medical records from Zervos and said she planned to file a claim under New York’s new anti-SLAPP law, which is meant to deter frivolous lawsuits.
Moira Kim Penza, the attorney representing Zervos, said that her client’s lawsuit has been slowed for long enough.
“The president is a private citizen and he just cannot delay this case any longer,” Penza said.