Zervos v. Trump Legal Fund
Defendant's Attempts to Dismiss or Stay this Action Have Repeatedly Been Denied.
Discovery is Well Underway.
Summer Zervos is one of several women who have reported being subjected to unwanted sexual touching by President Donald J. Trump. When Ms. Zervos came forward publicly to talk about her experience in October 2016, she was attacked by Mr. Trump, who used his enormous bully pulpit to falsely brand her as a liar.
Ms. Zervos reported that Mr. Trump assaulted her in 2007 both at his New York office and in his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Her complaint details that he kissed her forcibly without her consent, grabbed her breast, and pressed his genitals against her.
When the now infamous Access Hollywood tape became public, in which Mr. Trump boasted to Billy Bush about using his fame and power to sexually assault women on a widespread basis, and when Mr. Trump denied ever engaging in such behavior during a presidential debate two days later, Ms. Zervos came forward because she thought the public should know the truth.
Mr. Trump immediately attacked Ms. Zervos for telling the truth. He described her experience, and those of other women who also have come forward to accuse him of forcibly groping them, as “made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED,” “100% fabricated and made-up charges,” “totally false,” “totally phoney [sic] stories, 100% made up by women (many already proven false),” “made up stories and lies,” “[t]otally made up nonsense.” He falsely stated that “every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication. The events never happened.” He accused Ms. Zervos of seeking “ten minutes of fame,” and nothing more.
On January 17, 2017, Ms. Zervos sued Mr. Trump in a New York state court . Since then, Mr. Trump has aggressively sought to stop her lawsuit, first in the trial court, and currently in the appellate court. The trial court denied his motion to dismiss the case , ruling that “a sitting president is not immune from being sued” for his personal conduct because “no one is above the law.” Defendant then sought a stay of the case in the Appellate Division, and later in New York’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals.
Both appellate courts denied Defendant’s multiple attempts for a stay. The case is now progressing on two fronts: the substantive appeal will be argued before the Appellate Division, and the discovery phase has begun in the trial court.
Discovery is well underway both between the parties and from third parties. Ms. Zervos’s lawyers have issued non-party subpoenas to the Trump Campaign, the producers of The Apprentice, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and others. As discovery progresses, the costs of this case increase.
The current discovery schedule requires that depositions of both parties be concluded by January 31, 2019.
Ms. Zervos is represented by Mariann Meier Wang and her colleagues at Cuti Hecker Wang LLP , which is a small firm in New York City. Ms. Zervos’s lawyers have put an enormous amount of work into the case, and thus far, she has not been able to pay them anything for their time or to reimburse them for their out-of-pocket costs. The discovery phase of the case, which is now starting, is going to be very expensive, and she is trying to raise money to help pay the legal fees and costs necessary to pursue her case.
“The truth matters. Thank you for your support.”
-- Summer Zervos
Please note that contributions are non-refundable and not tax deductible. We encourage non-anonymous donations for transparency. Prior fundraising efforts organized by former co-counsel succeeded in raising the initial funds delineated by the first entry on this page of $30,058. We stress that regardless of the source or amount being donated, due to the confidential nature of litigation strategy, the attorney-client and work product privileges, and above all, an attorney’s duty to the client, no donor will be provided with additional information, access, or updates on the progress of the case, and contributing to Ms. Zervos’s legal fund will not give any donor any ability to control, influence, or participate in the decision-making regarding the conduct of the litigation or Ms. Zervos’s representation by her counsel. In the event that funds raised exceed the amount required to cover Ms. Zervos’s legal expenses, such funds will be donated to a worthy and relevant charity selected by Ms. Zervos at the conclusion of the litigation.