Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” appears in New York State Supreme Court during a hearing on a defamation case against Donald Trump in Manhattan on December 5, 2017.
REUTERS/Barry Williams/Pool/File Photo
A defamation suit against former President Donald Trump from former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos can move forward after New York’s highest court tossed out an appeal from the one-time commander-in-chief Tuesday.
Zervos’ case had been on pause since January 2020 as Trump sought to delay it through his presidency or have it dismissed outright. Lower courts rejected that bid, but the case was put on ice anyway as he appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
But on Tuesday, the high court dismissed the former president’s appeal because he is no longer in office, with a brief Court of Appeals motion entry saying “the issues presented have become moot.”
The case will now return to Manhattan Supreme Court for Zervos and Trump to duke it out.
In her 2017 case, Zervos claimed Trump defamed her when he publicly called her a “liar” and said her accusations that he groped her were “totally made up stuff” and “fake news.”
“Now a private citizen, the defendant has no further excuse to delay justice for Ms. Zervos, and we are eager to get back to the trial court and prove her claims,” Zervos’ lawyer Beth Wilkinson said in a statement.
Lawyers for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment.