Donald Trump fails to halt Apprentice contestant's defamation lawsuit


A state appeals court in NY has refused to stay a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.

The New York Court of Appeals, clearly, didn't buy this argument, stating simply and without explanation, "It is ordered that the motion is denied".

In reaction to her allegations, Trump previously took to Twitter to call Zervos' claims a "hoax", while also being quoted by Bloomberg as saying that her defamation lawsuit was "politically motivated". The president's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, had hoped that the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which establishes that state powers are subordinate to federal law, and therefore to the president, could get the case thrown out.

Gillers said the ruling allows Zervos' lawyers to proceed with pretrial discovery, which can include demands for documents and depositions, including of Trump.

In a one-page order, the Appellate Division in Manhattan did not explain why it denied Trump's motion to stay the lawsuit by Summer Zervos.

Zervos was one of almost a dozen women who came forward during the 2016 presidential race to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct.

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"We look forward to proving Ms Zervos's claim that defendant lied when he maliciously attacked her for reporting his sexually abusive behaviour", Zervos' law firm, Cuti Hecker Wang said in a statement on Thursday.

Had the court ruled in favor of the appeal, that might have resulted in a significant delay in the case, possibly until this fall at the earliest, The Guardian wrote.

Kasowitz said the NY appeals court's decision to deny a stay was "completely and unjustifiably contrary to the stays the courts uniformly granted" as Clinton's case moved through the courts. She's seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages.

A NY court says former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos can proceed with her defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, at least for now.

But Gillers said Trump is likely to try to slow things down, possibly by seeking to appeal to the state's highest court - the New York Court of Appeals - with a stay of any proceedings until that court decides.

Trump now has until next week to file a response to Zervos' complaint and the Trump's legal team has until the end of the month to respond to a broad subpoena that seeks records related to Zervos and other women who have made misconduct allegations against Trump prior to the election. The palace has not revealed any details about Thomas Markle's health issues, but the celebrity website TMZ says the 73-year-old retired Hollywood cinematographer is hospitalized in California after undergoing a procedure to clear blocked coronary arteries.