Former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos alleged during a Friday press conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred that Donald Trump inappropriately kissed and groped her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.
Zervos said that Trump forcibly kissed her twice during a meeting at his New York office. Days later, Zervos alleged that Trump invited her to dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he followed her around his “bungalow” groping and kissing Zervos as she tried to resist his advances. Allred told reporters that she had spoken with two people Zervos told about the incident at the time in order to verify her account. Zervos appeared on the fifth season of “The Apprentice,” which was broadcast in 2006.
Zervos told reporters that she met Trump while competing on “The Apprentice” and contacted him as a “possible mentor” after she left the show. Trump agreed to meet her in his New York office, according to Zervos.
“When I arrived, he kissed me on the lips,” Zervos said. “I was surprised, but felt that perhaps it was just his form of greeting.”
Zervos said that Trump complimented her about her performance on “The Apprentice,” and said that he would contact her soon. Zervos said that she was “very excited” about the prospect of working for him.
“As I was about to leave, he again kissed me on the lips,” Zervos said, adding that she called a friend in New York as well as her parents to tell them about the incident but concluded that it was simply a “form of greeting.”
Days later, when Trump visited Los Angeles, Zervos said that he told her that he was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel and asked her to dinner.
“I assumed we were going to a restaurant in the hotel. Instead, I was taken to a bungalow,” Zervos told reporters.
When she entered the bungalow, Zervos said, she saw a bedroom with Trump’s clothes on the bed but did not see Trump himself.
When Trump finally emerged, dressed in a suit, Zervos said that he kissed her again: “I stood up and he came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me toward him.”
Zervos said that she walked away and that Trump asked her to sit next to him, which she did, before grabbing her again.
“He grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” Zervos said.
When Zervos moved to another part of the room, Trump walked her into the bedroom and asked her to lie down and watch television with him, she said.
“He then put me in an embrace and I tried to push him away. I pushed his chest to put space between us and I said, ‘Come on, man, get real,'” Zervos said. “He repeated my words back to me—get real—as he began thrusting his genitals.”
Zervos said that Trump tried to kiss her again as she reiterated that she was not interested. He pointed out a fruit basket which had been delivered. Zervos felt that he was pointing it out as an illustration of his importance.
“I sat across the room from him, as far away as possible,” she said. “He started saying that he did not think that I had ever known love, or had ever been in love. I did not want to discuss my personal life with him.”
When dinner arrived, Zervos said, Trump told her to wait in another room.
“I felt that he did not want the waiter to see me,” she said.
Over dinner, Trump gave Zervos advice on how to get out of debt, she said. The two discussed a mortgage with Zervos had on her home, and Trump told her “not to make another payment” but simply to leave the keys and tell the bank to “pick it up.”
Afterwards, Zervos said that Trump told her to meet him at his golf course in the morning.
“I wondered if the sexual behavior was some kind of test, or whether or not I had passed,” she said.
When she visited Trump’s golf course, Zervos said, Trump met her and handed her over to the general manager for a tour.
“When I got back from the tour, Mr. Trump was not there,” Zervos said. “I never saw him again.”
The general manager later called and offered Zervos a job at the golf course with a salary of far less than she had asked, Zervos said, and her subsequent attempts to negotiate with and contact Trump were unsuccessful.
“Mr. Trump told me that I should never again use his private number and that if I wanted to reach him, I should contact him through his office,” Zervos said.
At the end of the press conference, Zervos addressed Trump directly.
“I wanted a job within your organization. Instead, you treated me as an object to be hit upon,” she said. “Mr. Trump, today I feel that you were interested in me only because you wanted to have a sexual relationship with me and for no other reason.”
Zervos went on to cite Trump’s comments in a leaked recording in which he bragged about being able to grab women “by the pussy” and kiss them without their consent as a result of his fame, and his subsequent denial in Sunday’s debate that he had ever acted on those comments, as her reason to come forward.
“After hearing the released audio tapes and your denial during the debate, I felt I had to speak out about your behavior,” Zervos said. “You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star.”
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism