Former 'Apprentice' Contestant Summer Zervos Alleges Sexual Misconduct by Trump | NBC Connecticut
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

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Former 'Apprentice' Contestant Summer Zervos Alleges Sexual Misconduct by Trump

"He then turned me around and said, 'let's lay down and watch some telly telly,'" Summer Zervos said

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    A former contestant on The Apprentice, Summer Zervos, described during a press conference on Oct. 14, 2016, an incident in 2007 in which she says Donald Trump sexually assaulted her. (Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016)

    While Donald Trump defiantly denied claims of sexual misbehavior Friday at a campaign rally in North Carolina, a former "Apprentice" contestant came forward with new allegations, detailing how the Republican presidential nominee “victimized her with inappropriate sexual conduct."

    During a tearful press conference in Los Angeles with her attorney, Gloria Allred, Summer Zervos accused Trump of sexually assaulting her when she sought his help nine years ago.

    Zervos, who competed in season 5 of the NBC reality show, said she reached out to Trump for career advice after being kicked off "The Apprentice" in hopes of working for the Trump Organization.

    The alleged meetings, which Trump denies ever happened, add to a growing list of accusations against the Republican presidential nominee, who is claiming he's the subject of a coordinated smear campaign. As of Friday, NBC News counts 12 instances of public sexual misconduct allegations, including groping, sexual assault and walking in on young pageant contestants.

    Zervos described a meeting in 2007 at Trump's Manhattan office, where the businessman agreed to meet her while she was in the city for a social obligation. Trump greeted her with a kiss on the lips and another when they parted ways, she said.

    "I was surprised, but felt that perhaps that was just his form of greeting," Zervos said.

    Trump Sexual Assault Accuser Speaks Through TearsTrump Sexual Assault Accuser Speaks Through Tears“Mr. Trump, when I met you I was so impressed with your talents that I wanted to be like you. I wanted a job within your organization. Instead you treated me as if an object to be hit up,” said Summer Zervos with a quivering voice. Zervos spoke at a press conference with civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred on Oct. 16, 2017. (Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016)

    During their meeting, Trump allegedly praised Zervos for how she handled herself on the show and told her he would "love to have me work for him." Trump then suggested meeting in Los Angeles to discuss employment opportunities, Zervos said.

    Days later, Trump was in California and called Zervos to meet for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where "he called me his 'O.C. Angel,'" she said.

    At the hotel, Zervos alleges, Trump attempted to make a sexual advance on her, and she rebuffed him.

    "I stood up and he came to me and started kissing me opened mouthed as he was pulling me towards him,'" she recounted. "I walked away and I sat down in a chair. He was on a love seat across from me and I made an attempt at conversation. He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom. I walked out. He then turned me around and said, 'lets lay down and watch some telly telly.'"

    Zervos said she pushed Trump away and attempted to make it clear that she was not interested. He responded by thrusting his genitals at her. 

    Civil Rights Lawyer Backs Trump Sexual Assault Accuser Civil Rights Lawyer Backs Trump Sexual Assault Accuser “Donald Trump thinks that he can do and say whatever he wants,” said civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred during a press conference with former contestant on The Apprentice, Summer Zervos, on Oct. 14, 2016. Zervos detailed an incident in 2007 during which she says she was groped by Donald Trump. (Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016)

    According to Zervos, when dinner arrived, the conversation only involved business and real estate talk, and that they met the next morning at his golf course in Palos Verdes.

    "I wondered if the sexual behavior was some kind of test and whether or not I had passed,” Zervos said.

    After the encounter, Zervos still sought employment with the Trump Organization, she said, and believed she was not offered a job there because she had denied his advances.

    "When I contacted Mr. Trump he asked me to send him a letter setting forth the jobs within his organization that I felt that I was well suited for, which I did," she said, noting that he gave her the "run around" before finally telling her "that he could not afford to hire me as he was laying off thousands of employees."

    Zervos was the second woman to come forward to accuse Trump of unwanted sexual advances on Friday alone, but said she was unaware of other allegations against Trump until recent reports surfaced.

    "You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star," she said.

    Trump released a statement after Zervos's news conference saying the actions she accuses him of are "not how I’ve conducted my life," and denying ever meeting her at a hotel.

    "I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years. To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago," he said, going on to claim it was unethical for the press to give an unvetted claim of sexual misconduct so much airtime.

    Later Friday, Trump's campaign released comments from a cousin of Zervos claiming that the accuser often praised Trump after appearing on his show and invited Trump to her restaurant earlier this year. Zevros "wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she's saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump," the campaign quoted her cousin, John Barry, as saying.

    The string of allegations, which the GOP candidate has denied, follows the release last week of a tape of Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent during a 2005 interview with former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that was caught on a hot microphone.

    NBC News has not confirmed any of the allegations made against Trump.

    Trump: Sex Misconduct Accusations Are 'Total Fiction'Trump: Sex Misconduct Accusations Are 'Total Fiction'Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says the women stepping forward with accusations of groping and unwanted advances are lying. (Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016)

    Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, on Friday promised the campaign would soon release evidence against the women that would show Trump's innocence.

    "It's coming in, frankly, probably in a matter of hours," Pence said Friday morning on NBC's "Today" show. He added, "It's astonishing to see the enormous coverage of these, of these really unfounded allegations, unestablished allegations, compared to an avalanche of emails coming out of Hillary Clinton's years as secretary of state."

    Allred fired back at critics who attempt to discredit victims for not coming out sooner, noting accusers "may have thought they would not be believed against what they thought would most likely be a complete denial by a rich, powerful celebrity. Some may have feared the wrath and retaliation of Mr. Trump and some of his supporters. Some may have though they were the only ones who were victimized."

    The famed civil rights lawyer isn't the only one. The hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport started to trend on Thursday, as Twitter users responded to the Trump campaign’s attempts to dismiss the latest accusations of sexual assault by questioning their timing, so close to the election.

    "Access Hollywood" and "The Apprentice" are owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, MSNBC and this station.