A former contestant on the Apprentice, Summer Zervos, has accused Donald Trump of groping or aggressively kissing her on two separate occasions in 2007, when she met Trump in private for what she thought were going to be discussions about job opportunities.
Zervos made her accusations in a prepared statement that she read Friday in the offices of her lawyer, Gloria Allred. Often speaking through tears, Zervos said Trump greeted her and said goodbye to her at a meeting in his New York office with a kiss on the lips. Brushing it off as his form of greeting, Zervos agreed to meet Trump for dinner later that year when he traveled to Los Angeles.
At a Beverly Hills hotel, Trump’s security guard led her to a bungalow where he was staying. When she was inside, Zervos claimed, Trump greeted her with an open-mouthed, aggressive kiss while grabbing her shoulder to hold her in, and put his hand on her breast. Several times, she claims, she pushed him away and indicated he should stop.
When Zervos resisted Trump’s advances, she claimed, he tried to lead her toward the bedroom of the bungalow. “Let’s lay down and watch some telly-telly,” she claims he said. When she said, “C’mon man, get real,” she claims he replied, “Get real,” and thrust his genitals at her.
Zervos, an Orange County restaurant owner when she appeared on the fifth season of the the Apprentice, made her accusations public because of Trump’s claims that he had never touched a woman without her consent.
In the last week, nearly a dozen women have publicly accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, a tidal wave unleashed after Trump was revealed to have bragged that his fame allowed him to grope and kiss women without their consent. Days later, in the second presidential debate, Trump dismissed the recording as “locker room talk” and said his words didn’t represent his actions.
Trump has denied the allegations against him and referred to his accusers at a recent political rally as “horrible, horrible liars”.
In addition to the women who have emerged to contradict his claims, a woman named Jill Harth has maintained for many years that Trump forcibly assaulted her in 1992 at his Palm Beach estate, Mar-A-Lago.
Allred said she had been contracted by “many more women” who are not sure they wish to go public with their accusations, presumably against Trump.
Speaking tearfully, Zervos told the press that she decided to go public because “I want to be able to sleep, when I’m 70, at night”.
“Mr Trump, when I met you I was so impressed with your talents that I wanted to be like you,” Zervos read from her statement. “Instead, you treated me like an object to be hit upon … Today I feel you were interested in me because you wanted to have as sexual relationship with me and for no other reason.
“You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star,” she concluded.