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“OC Angel” vs. Donald Trump Lawsuit Can Proceed: Appeals Court

“OC Angel” vs. Donald Trump Lawsuit Can Proceed: Appeals Court
Hello, OC Angel! (Photograph by Joseph Sohm)

A New York appellate courtroom dominated this morning that President Donald Trump should face a defamation lawsuit filed by a former Apprentice contestant who he supposedly dubbed his “OC Angel” as a result of she comes from Orange County.

Summer time Zervos, whose household enterprise is the greasy spoon Sunnys throughout from Golden West School in Huntington Seashore, was amongst a number of ladies who accused Trump of sexual misconduct earlier than the 2016 presidential election.


After Trump referred to as the ladies liars—and particularly singled out Zervos a number of occasions within the fall of that yr—she filed go well with in New York on Jan. 17, 2017, which was three days earlier than his inauguration.

Trump’s authorized workforce has tried to argue that he can’t be sued is state courtroom throughout his presidency, however three of 5 judges on the appeals panel disagree. The bulk and dissenting judges every cite the U.S. Supreme Courtroom’s determination in Clinton v. Jones, which discovered presidents could be sued whereas in workplace for unofficial acts. Sarcastically, lawyer Gloria Allred, who introduced Zervos’ defamation go well with whereas her shopper sat by her aspect, beforehand represented President Invoice Clinton’s sexual misconduct accuser Paula Jones.

“Opposite to defendant’s rivalry, Clinton v. Jones didn’t recommend that its reasoning wouldn’t apply to state courtroom actions,” reads the appeals panel’s majority ruling. “It merely recognized a possible constitutional concern. However that concern, this Courtroom shouldn’t be deterred from holding that a state courtroom can train jurisdiction over the President as a defendant in a civil lawsuit.”

Trump’s lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz vows to quote in his shopper’s attraction the Clinton v. Jones reasoning of the 2 dissenting appeals judges, who concluded the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Structure bars state courts from listening to instances towards a president nonetheless in workplace.

Zervos, who arrived in New York in 2005 to movie the fifth season of NBC’s The Apprentice, “instantly admired Donald Trump, and hoped he could possibly be her mentor as she tried to study from her expertise on The Apprentice, and finally, to achieve the restaurant enterprise,” states her grievance. “Even after Ms. Zervos was ‘fired’ on the present, she continued to see Mr. Trump as a attainable mentor and potential employer.”

Whereas in New York for a social obligation in early December 2007, Zervos met Trump at Trump Tower to debate job prospects inside his group. “As quickly as she arrived at his workplace, Mr. Trump instantly kissed Ms. Zervos on the lips,” states her grievance. “She was stunned, however thought maybe that Mr. Trump simply greeted people who approach. They sat down and commenced speaking.

“Mr. Trump was extraordinarily complimentary of Ms. Zervos. He stated that he was very impressed with how she had dealt with herself on The Apprentice and that he had by no means met anybody together with her mixture of being sensible, engaging and with as giant a set of ‘balls’ as she had. Mr. Trump advised her he would like to have her work for him. Ms. Zervos was very excited and felt that her dream of working for Mr. Trump may come true.”

However she alleges that as she was getting ready to go away Trump’s workplace, he “abruptly” kissed her on the lips a second time. “The kisses on her mouth–executed with out her consent–made Ms. Zervos really feel uncomfortable, nervous and embarrassed,” reads the grievance. “She felt that it was inappropriate conduct. She spoke to a good friend and her mother and father about it, all of whom concluded that this should simply be the best way that Mr. Trump greeted individuals.”

Zervos says she soldiered on after returning to Orange County, the place she claims she acquired a name from Trump on the quantity she had left after their New York assembly. “He referred to as her his OC Angel, as a result of he knew she was from Orange County,” reads the grievance. “In one other, later name, he indicated that he was coming to Los Angeles, after which referred to as her once more after he had landed, asking her to satisfy him that night on the Beverly Hills Lodge for dinner at a restaurant.”

However when she arrived on the lodge, a safety guard led her to a bungalow the place she claims she waited for almost 15 minutes earlier than Trump got here out of a bed room in a go well with, instantly began kissing her open mouthed and pulled her towards him. “Ms. Zervos walked away and sat on a chair, making an attempt to make dialog, however Mr. Trump requested her to take a seat subsequent to him on a love seat,” states the grievance. “Ms. Zervos complied. After Ms. Zervos sat subsequent to him, Mr. Trump grabbed her shoulder, once more kissing her very aggressively, and positioned his hand on her breast. Ms. Zervos pulled again and walked to a different a part of the room.

“Mr. Trump walked as much as Ms. Zervos, grabbed her hand, and led her into the bed room. Ms. Zervos walked out. Mr. Trump turned Ms. Zervos round and stated, ‘Let’s lay down and watch some telly telly.’ He embraced her and she or he tried to push him away, shoving his chest away from her and telling him sternly ‘come on man, get actual.’ Mr. Trump repeated her phrases again to her lasciviously, drawing out the second phrase and saying, ‘get reeeeal,’ as he started to press his genitals towards her, making an attempt to kiss her once more.

“Ms. Zervos once more informed him she was not , saying ‘dude, you’re tripping proper now.’ Mr. Trump requested her what she needed, and she or he replied that she had come for dinner. Mr. Trump then stated, ‘okay, we’ll have dinner.’ He paced across the room and appeared indignant. He informed her that he didn’t consider that she had ever recognized love or been in love.”

She claims when a waiter arrived on the door with dinner–a membership sandwich and fries that they might be splitting (and he would complain was overpriced)–he instructed her to attend out of sight in one other room. As soon as the waiter left, the pair started a dialog that appeared to her to be a job interview. Trump is claimed to have abruptly ended the dialog by saying he wanted to go to mattress and instructing Zervos to satisfy him the subsequent morning at his golf course in Palos Verdes.

Within the grievance, Zervos claims she “felt confused” however believed Trump nonetheless needed to speak together with her a few job regardless of her rejection. “She thought that maybe Mr. Trump had been testing her and that she had handed. She drove straight to her household’s enterprise to debate what occurred together with her father, and to get his recommendation as as to if she ought to go to the golf course the next day, given what had occurred. After talking together with her father, Ms. Zervos determined to go to satisfy Mr. Trump the next day.”

She says she has a quick assembly with Trump on the golf course earlier than he launched her to the overall supervisor, who took her on a tour. As soon as they acquired again, Zervos contends, “Mr. Trump was nowhere in sight.” Later that week, the golf course GM referred to as and provided her a job at half the wage that she had advised Trump she was in search of, in response to the grievance, which provides she referred to as the billionaire to complain.

Her lawsuit goes on describe a few years of getting the runaround as she believed Trump may need a job for her and that he might have been ashamed and embarrassed concerning the alleged sexual misconduct. In July 2016, Trump was chosen because the presidential nominee for the Republican Social gathering, which Zervos additionally belonged to. Her angle towards her encounters with him modified after the Entry Hollywood tape got here out a month earlier than that November’s presidential election, because it knowledgeable her that different ladies had comparable encounters with Trump and what his frame of mind was round engaging ladies.

That’s when she went public. “Ms. Zervos didn’t come ahead with a purpose to be well-known,” claims her grievance. “Ms. Zervos didn’t come ahead on the urging, request or requirement of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Nationwide Committee.”

The injury to Zervos got here when Trump “wasted no time in utilizing his bully pulpit to skewer and deride Ms. Zervos with false statements of reality,” reads her go well with. “Mr. Trump’s speedy response, within the late afternoon or night of October 14, 2016, was falsely to state: ‘To be clear, I by no means met her at a lodge or greeted her inappropriately a decade in the past. That isn’t who I’m as an individual, and it isn’t how I’ve carried out my life.’ Mr. Trump’s assertion was posted on his marketing campaign web site, and extensively reported within the media.

“That very same night, October 14, 2016, Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign issued a press release by Ms. Zervos’ cousin, John Barry, who described how Ms. Zervos had solely stated good issues about Mr. Trump prior to now. He concluded: ‘I feel Summer time needs she might nonetheless be on actuality TV, and in an effort to get that again she’s saying all of those unfavorable issues about Mr. Trump. That’s not how she talked about him earlier than. I can solely think about that Summer time’s actions immediately are nothing greater than an try and regain the highlight at Mr. Trump’s expense . …’ On info and perception, Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign staff drafted and issued Barry’s assertion at Mr. Trump’s course and together with his approval.

“In truth, that first cousin, a Trump supporter, had been fired from Ms. Zervos’ household’s restaurant as a result of he was unreliable, and was apparently disgruntled consequently. In a textual content, that cousin had referred to himself as a ‘loser.’”

The morning of Oct. 15, 2016, Trump’s marketing campaign issued a press release with Barry’s feedback, and at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that afternoon the GOP nominee said, “[T]oday, the cousin of one among these individuals, very near her, wrote a letter that what she stated is a lie. That she was an enormous fan of Donald Trump. That she invited Donald Trump to her restaurant to have dinner, which by the best way I didn’t go to, didn’t even know who the heck we’re speaking about right here. However these allegations have been, lots of them already confirmed so false.”


On Oct. 17, 2016, Trump retweeted a information story that included an image of Zervos, stating “That is all yet one more hoax. … Horrible.”

Trump knew he was mendacity about Zervos in statements particularly about her allegations or these lumping her in with different accusers, in line with her go well with. “Mr. Trump’s false statements about Ms. Zervos are defamation per se, together with with out limitation as a result of they might have a tendency (and did) injure Ms. Zervos’s commerce, occupation or enterprise,” reads the grievance. “Ms. Zervos has suffered as a direct results of Mr. Trump’s false, defamatory statements, each emotionally and financially. Being branded a liar who got here ahead just for fame or on the manipulation of the Clinton marketing campaign has been painful and demoralizing.

“As well as, Ms. Zervos has suffered financially. Instantly after and since Mr. Trump derided her as a liar in search of fame, her restaurant misplaced clients and enterprise that it had earlier than. Ms. Zervos suffered at the very least $2,914 in such monetary losses. Ms. Zervos pleads these particular damages within the occasion that a courtroom ought to decide that she is required to plead particular damages as a component of her declare.

“Mr. Trump’s false, defamatory statements about Ms. Zervos–that, amongst different issues, she made up her descriptions of Mr. Trump’s misconduct as a hoax, and that she is making a ‘phony’ story simply in order that she might be well-known–have been deeply detrimental to Ms. Zervos’s status, honor and dignity.

“Ms. Zervos seeks all obtainable cures to undo this hurt, together with a retraction and apology by Mr. Trump.”

Matt Coker has been partaking, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and web sites for many years. He spent the primary 13 years of his profession in journalism at day by day newspapers earlier than “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 because the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, government editor and is now senior employees author.