MANHATTAN (CN) – Summer Zervos, the former contestant from “The Apprentice” who has accused President Donald Trump of harassment, cannot bolster her lawsuit with evidence about other Trump accusers, a judge ruled Friday.
Issuing her decision after a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, Justice Jennifer Schecter found that Trump must turn over evidence and answer questions related directly to Zervos, but not about claims involving any other women that are “factually completely unrelated to her and her claim.”
Schecter ruled that the evidence requested from other women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment in unrelated incidents is inadmissible.
Zervos came forward in 2016 with allegations that Trump kissed and groped her without permission over a decade ago, but her lawsuit hinges on whether Trump defamed her by calling her a liar.
After Trump was ordered in June to sit for a deposition, his attorney Marc Kasowitz argued that deposing other women about alleged sexual harassment would be irrelevant since it’s a defamation case.
Kasowitz also invoked the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which Trump’s defense claims bars a state court from requiring a sitting president to be deposed, and asked for the defamation complaint to be dismissed.
Last week, Kasowitz reiterated his case for the Supremacy Clause’s protection of the sitting president at arguments before a five-judge panel of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division’s First Department.
On Friday meanwhile, Zervos’ attorney Mariann Wang told attorneys for Donald Trump and the Trump Organization that she would be seeking calendar entries and phone records from November 2006 through February 2007, in part to “refresh his recollection” if Trump claims to not remember events during his deposition.
Issuing her remarks in court immediately after Schecter issued her ruling, Wang said she would be withdrawing their claim for lost earnings and would only be seeking emotional harm damages.
Wang remarked that Trump’s attorney had made “a sideshow” of Zervos’ request for “special damages” of about $3,000, plus damages for emotional harm and loss of business, in addition to punitive damages.
Trump’s attorneys responded that they would be seeking the release of Zervos’ tax returns and financial records to assess Zervos’ claims for damages. Trump meanwhile is the only Republican nominee for president since 1968 to refuse to release his tax returns.