In a press conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, Summer Zervos, a contestant on the fifth season of The Apprentice, became the latest woman to accuse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.
As Trump derided the more than a dozen women who have accused him of sexual impropriety of doing so “for money and sometimes for fame” in a rally in North Carolina, Zervos described through tears pursuing employment with the Trump Organization after her time as a contestant on Trump’s reality show.
“I had the utmost admiration for Mr. Trump, and even after I was fired, I continued to see him as a possible mentor and potential employer,” Zervos, a self-described Republican, said.
In 2007, two years after Zervos appeared on The Apprentice and two years after Trump married his third wife, Zervos alleged that she met with Trump for dinner in New York City, whereupon “he kissed me on the lips,” a behavior Zervos alleged that he repeated at the end of the dinner. After discussing the kisses with family and friends, Zervos said, “we came to the conclusion that this was undoubtedly just some sort of greeting.”
“He said that he would love to have me work for him,” Zervos said. “Mr. Trump said he would be coming to Los Angeles soon and he would contact me.”
A few weeks later, Zervos said she was invited to meet Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“I assumed we were going to a restaurant in his hotel. Instead, we were escorted to a bungalow,” Zervos said. Upon entering, “I saw Mr. Trump’s clothes on the bed. He greeted me with a ‘hello’ in a sing-song voice.”
Fifteen minutes later, Zervos alleged that Trump entered the room, in his suit, and began kissing her.
“He started kissing me open-mouthed as he started pulling me towards him,” Zervos said. “He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.”
When Zervos resisted, she said, he pulled her back towards him.
“He then turned me around and said, let’s lay down and watch some telly-telly,” Zervos said. “I said, ‘come on man, get real.’ He repeated my words back at me – get real – and began thrusting his genitals.”
When Zervos reiterated that she was only there to have dinner, she said, Trump acted angrily and told her that she “did not know love, or had ever been in love.”
Through tears, Zervos told reporters: “I wondered if the sexual behavior was some kind of test, and whether or not I had passed.”
After attempting to gain employment through the Trump Organization, despite the alleged harassment, Zervos said that she was told to “never again use his private number, and if I wanted to reach him, I should contact him through his office.”
Describing the “great deal of pain and anguish” seeing Trump on television during the presidential campaign, Zervos said that she reached out a final time to Trump’s secretary in April 2016 to “clear the air.”
“I had no idea about his behavior with other women at the time,” Zervos said, in reference to numerous other allegations of sexual impropriety against Trump that have broken in the past week.
Sending an email to Trump, Zervos said: “Your interest in me as a potential employee meant the world to me.”
“Mr. Trump did not reply.”
Directly addressing Trump, Zervos described the humiliation of being treated “as an object to be hit upon.”
“You were interested in me only because you wanted to have a sexual relationship with me, and for no other reason,” Zervos said. “I felt I had to speak out about your behavior.”
“You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star.”