That hotel stay is a key part of Zervos’s defamation lawsuit against Trump in New York State Supreme Court. Zervos says that Trump forced himself on her with unwanted kissing and groping while she visited him for lunch in his hotel room.
The phone records “corroborate [Zervos’s] account of the sexual assaults with even more granularity and with a degree of precision that [Zervos] could not have known were she not telling the truth about those interactions when she spoke publicly about them before this case was filed,” her lawyer, Mariann Wang, said in a court filing. Zervos’s legal team released the records Tuesday.
Portions of Trump’s private calendars and email correspondence between Zervos and Trump’s secretary were made public last month. Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s lawyer in the case, told the Associated Press then that Zervos’s claims were “entirely meritless and not corroborated by any documents.”
Kasowitz’s law firm released a statement Tuesday that said: “That President Trump may have had several phone calls with Ms. Zervos, who had been a contestant on The Apprentice, in no way corroborates Ms. Zervos’s allegations. In fact, at the time, Ms. Zervos, who initiated most of those calls, was pestering Mr. Trump for a job. Clearly, her counsel is resorting to litigating this case in the press because her claims have no merit in Court.”
Zervos is one of about a dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct before the 2016 election. Her case has been slowly moving through the New York courts and could reach its conclusion before the 2020 election.
The call records came to light as part of an agreement between Zervos’s and Trump’s legal teams. The phone bills are redacted except for six phone calls with Zervos.
The most important is probably a three-minute call from Trump to Zervos on Dec. 21, 2007. Portions of Trump’s private calendar released as part of the case show he had arrived in Los Angeles from Las Vegas that day and checked into the Beverly Hills Hotel, along with his bodyguard, Keith Schiller.
Trump’s calendar showed he was scheduled to arrive Los Angeles at 3 p.m. and the call was made at 3:02 p.m.
Zervos said in a 2016 statement that when she arrived at the hotel room, she expected they would be going to a restaurant for lunch, but instead Trump started kissing her. She walked away, but he kept pursuing her, she said.
“He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” Zervos said, adding that she later pushed him away and told him to “get real.”
Trump has denied accusations of sexual impropriety and said he never met Zervos at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago,” Trump said after she made her accusation.
Trump called Zervos and other women who accused him of sexual misconduct “liars,” prompting Zervos to sue him for defamation.
Her lawyers say the case is about revealing the truth.
“A sexual perpetrator who attacks his victim yet again with malicious falsehoods does so to make clear to the world and those he abuses that his victims must never reveal their truth, and that they should instead remain silenced and ashamed,” Zervos’s lawyers wrote in a filing. “It is, in effect, an expansion and perpetuation of the abuse.”
Zervos has said that the day after the alleged incident in the hotel room, she met Trump again at his Los Angeles golf club. There is also a two-minute phone call between them that day, according to the records. There were more phone calls between the two later in December, as well as in January and February 2008.
Zervos has said she wanted to work for the Trump Organization after her appearance on “The Apprentice,” Trump’s television show, and sought out Trump for professional advice. She has said Trump also kissed her unprompted in their first meeting in his Trump Tower office in New York and that it made her “upset.”
Trump’s lawyers have tried to block Zervos’s lawsuit, arguing that the president is immune from such state court lawsuits. But in March, a New York appellate court ruled that Trump must face the defamation lawsuit. Trump’s lawyers have signaled their intent to appeal. Zervos’s team wants Trump to give a deposition. The judge has set Dec. 6 as a deadline for all depositions in the case.