Politics

Donald Trump scores legal victories after former “Apprentice” contestant drops sexual assault claims

On Friday, Former President Donald Trump scored two legal victories as former “Apprentice” contestant agreed to drop her claims. A New York judge also granted Trump’s motion to dismiss another lawsuit that had been filed by his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

The “Apprentice” contestant, Summer Zervos, sued Trump in 2017 after he denied her allegations that he sexually assaulted her. In connection to that case, a judge had recently ordered Trump to sit for a deposition by December 23. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, sued the Trump Organization in 2019 seeking reimbursement of legal fees, claiming that after he began cooperating with federal investigators, the organization did not fulfill its contractual obligations to indemnify him or pay his legal bills in relation to his work for the firm.

A statement announcing that Zervos was dropping her suit was released, and her attorneys wrote, “Today the parties have ended Zervos v. Trump. After five years, Ms. Zervos no longer wishes to litigate against the defendant and has secured the right to speak freely about her experience. Ms. Zervos stands by the allegation sin her complaint and has accepted no compensation.”

Other than that statement, no other details have been released about why Zervos decided to drop the suit. A joint stipulation filed in court says that the parties agreed that “all claims and counterclaims asserted in this matter, or that could have been asserted, are hereby dismissed and discontinued in their entirety with prejudice, with each party to bear his or her own costs.” 

In a second victory for Trump on Friday, Judge Joel Cohen of New York granted Trump’s motion to dismiss Michael Cohen’s 2019 lawsuit against the Trump Organization. Judge Cohen wrote, “Mr. Cohen’s legal fees arise out of his (sometimes unlawful) service to Mr. Trump personally, to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to the Trump Foundation, but not out of his service to the business of the Trump Organization, which is the only defendant in this case.”

In a statement to CNN on the day of the judge’s decision, Michael Cohen criticized the outcome: “I think it’s a terrible decision by Justice Cohen based upon the fact that I was directed to handle the matters that I did at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J Trump and the Trump Organization. Over the course of the weekend I will be evaluating with my counsel whether to file an appeal or not,” he said.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: SCMP.COM

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