UPDATED, 5:25 PM: The New York Supreme Court has denied a motion to delay the case of Summer Zervos v. Donald Trump, the defamation suit filed against the president of the United States by a former contestant on The Apprentice, the NBC reality show POTUS once fronted. Trump’s attorneys had argued that “a stay is necessary given the novel and important Constitutional issues involved, the special considerations due to the President’s requests for interlocutory appeals and to prevent irreparable harm.” Justice Jennifer Schetcer disagreed. Read her response here and details of the case below.
PREVIOUSLY, October 24: Attorneys for former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, whose defamation suit against President Donald Trump is in the discovery phase, have filed a motion with the New York state Supreme Court requesting that a judge de-designate additional confidential documents from the Trump Organization that they say could help prove Trump sexually assaulted Zervos in 2007.
In a memorandum of law filed Thursday read it here, the plaintiff’s side said that most of the Trump Organization’s documents produced in discovery originally were classified as confidential. While behind-the-scenes wrangling has lifted that designation for many of those docs - some relating to Trump’s schedule and whereabouts during that time period - “there is one critical piece that they insist on keeping secret,” according to the filing.
“Defendant evidently is aware that the documents at issue closely corroborate Plaintiff's detailed account of their interactions,” said the memorandum, some of which was redacted, about nine pages of documents in question. “That is not a valid reason for Defendant to use the Confidentiality Stipulation to continue to conceal the truth.”
Zervos’ lawyers said the Trump Organization designated it as confidential because it included Trump’s private cell phone number, a reason they refute since it is no longer in use and Trump “himself publicized it to his millions of Twitter followers during the 2016 campaign.”
In March, a New York appeals court ruled that Trump must face the defamation suit, which was filed after he claimed publicly that Zervos and other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct were lying. The ruling means that Trump might have to give a deposition in the case.
A contestant on Season 5 of the Trump-hosted NBC series The Apprentice, Zervos just before the 2016 election accused then-GOP presidential candidate Trump of grabbing her breasts and kissing her in 2007 in a bungalow at Beverly Hills Hotel, where she'd gone to talk to him about a job.
Donald Trump Tells Sean Hannity He'll “Terminate” New York Times, Washington Post Subscriptions, That Is
John Oliver made his return to HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” on March 29 after a brief hiatus due to the coronavirus, and the late night host wasted no time ripping Donald Trump for his “failed” and “irresponsible” response to the global pandemic. As Oliver said, “Again and again, Trump has failed to give this crisis the seriousness it deserves…It didn't need to be this hard. That is why it is so profoundly disheartening that we are being led through this crisis by a man who may be less equipped to deal with this historical moment than anyone in recorded history.”
“It's critically important for America to be getting a clear, consistent message about the severity of the threat we're currently facing,” Oliver added. “That is the only way we will be able to manage this virus, contain casualties, and get back to something resembling normalcy.”
Oliver expressed criticism over Trump’s delay in responding to the coronavirus threat, noting that Trump could have helped solve the nationwide shortage in hospital masks and ventilators by enacting the Defense Production Act as early as late January or February. Had Trump made the move, he would have pushed companies like General Motors to produce supplies sooner. Oliver argued Trump waited too long, only to tell the country that his administration is ahead of the outbreak.
“It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate just how irresponsible that attitude is,” Oliver said. “Because we wasted so much time that we could have spent preparing, the virus is now widespread. And thanks to how we have massively botched the rollout of testing the virus, we still don’t know how exactly how bad things are.”
Oliver added, “For once, something has come along that is more toxic and more threatening that this president.” The television host concluded by saying he is “rooting for [Trump] to do this better,” pointing to how Ohio governor Mike DeWine and New York governor Andrew Cuomo have responded.
The March 29 episode of “Last Week Tonight” was Oliver’s first since signing off for a hiatus on March 16. During that episode, Oliver blasted Trump’s coronavirus response as “catastrophic” and urged Americans to listen to the Center of Disease Control over the President when it comes to facts about the pandemic. Oliver said the White House’s response was a “complete mess” because of all the lies Trump has told the American people.
New episodes of “Last Week Tonight” air Sunday nights at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.