Summer Zervos: Ex-Apprentice drops lawsuit against Trump

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Summer Zervos (L), with her lawyer Gloria Allred, said she was launching the lawsuit to "vindicate my reputation"Image source, EPA
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Ms Zervos' lawyers said she "no longer wishes to litigate"

A woman who sued ex-President Donald Trump for defamation when he denied her sexual assault claim has dropped her lawsuit after nearly five years.

Summer Zervos, an ex-contestant on The Apprentice, accused Mr Trump of groping her in a Los Angeles hotel room as she asked him for career advice in 2007.

She sued him for defamation in January 2017 after he dismissed allegations of misconduct against him as "lies".

Mr Trump was seeking to countersue her for infringing his free speech rights.

The sudden discontinuation of the lawsuit spares Mr Trump from being questioned under oath about Ms Zervos' accusations. He had been due to be deposed in a Manhattan court next month.

The plaintiff's lawyers, Beth Wilkinson and Moira Penza, said in a statement on Friday: "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 allegations in her complaint."

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Summer Zervos launching her lawsuit in January 2017

It is unclear why she decided to drop the lawsuit now, but her legal team said she had accepted no pay-out from Mr Trump.

The former president's lawyer also said no compensation or legal fees had been paid to Ms Zervos.

Alina Habba added in an email to Reuters news agency: "She had no choice but to do so as the facts unearthed in this matter made it abundantly clear that our client did nothing wrong."

A statement by Mr Trump said he had been "totally vindicated".

"It is so sad when things like this can happen, but so incredibly important to fight for the truth and justice," he said.

"Only victory can restore one's reputation."

Image source, Getty Images
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Former Elle magazine columnist E Jean Carroll claims Mr Trump raped her

Mr Trump is also being sued for defamation by former Elle magazine columnist E Jean Carroll, after he denied her claims he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s.

Her lawyer, Julie Fink, said in a statement to US media on Friday that her client had "no intention" of dropping her lawsuit.

Mr Trump is seeking to protect himself from personal liability in the case, arguing that it was in his official capacity as president that he spoke about Ms Carroll.

He wants the federal appeals court in Manhattan to allow him to make the US government the defendant, not himself.

Unexpectedly, the administration of President Joe Biden has supported Mr Trump's position.

Mr Trump is also still facing an ongoing inquiry by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance into his family company, the Trump Organization.