The former “apprentice” candidate Zervos abruptly ends the lawsuit against Donald Trump

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NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – Summer Zervos, a former The Apprentice contestant who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, ended her nearly five-year-old defamation lawsuit against the former US president on Friday without receiving an apology or compensation.

The abrupt decision to drop the case saves Trump the oath of interrogation on charges of inadvertently kissing and groping Zervos in 2007 after seeking career advice.

Zervos sued Trump in a New York State court in Manhattan in January 2017, saying he had damaged her reputation by calling such allegations by women “lies” and retweeted a post saying she was “joking.” designated.

Trump has also denied Zervos’ assault claims, calling them politically motivated. Zervos appeared on Trump’s reality TV show in 2005.

“Ms. Zervos no longer wants to take action against the defendant and has secured the right to speak freely about her experience,” said her lawyers Beth Wilkinson and Moira Penza in a joint statement. “Ms. Zervos stands by the allegations in her complaint.”

Trump, a Republican, had sought legal permission to sue Zervos for violating his right to freedom of expression, a right protected under New York law.

Zervos lawyers called the effort an attempt to evade a court-ordered December 23 deadline.

“Ms. Zervos made the prudent decision to voluntarily drop her case without exchanging compensation or legal fees,” Trump’s attorney Alina Habba said in an email. “She had no choice but to do this as the facts unearthed on the matter made it perfectly clear that our client did nothing wrong.”

Wilkinson and Penza did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.

“It’s so sad when something like this can happen, but it’s so incredibly important to fight for truth and justice,” said Trump. “Only victory can restore the reputation.”

Trump’s comments were contained in a statement from Save America, a political action committee that supports him. The statement said Trump was “fully confirmed”.

The Zervos case remained partially unsolved because Trump tried to stop a multitude of lawsuits during his stay in the White House, arguing that a sitting president could not be sued.

That argument became controversial after Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election and Trump became a private citizen.

New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, dismissed Trump’s most recent appeal in the Zervos case in March.

Other legal matters delayed during Trump’s presidency included the ongoing investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance into Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization.

Trump has dismissed claims made by several women of inappropriate sexual behavior.

One, former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, also sued Trump for defamation after denying he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s.

Trump has petitioned the Manhattan federal appeals court to have him replaced as a defendant by the U.S. government, which essentially shields him from personal liability for speaking about Carroll in his capacity as president.

Oral arguments are scheduled for December 3rd. The Biden administration has essentially taken Trump’s stance, calling his statements, which question Carroll’s credibility, “crude and disrespectful”.

Julie Fink, a Carroll attorney, said in an email that her client “has no intention” to drop her lawsuit.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional coverage from Jan Wolfe in Washington, DC; Editing by Chris Reese, Cynthia Osterman, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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