A NY appeals court has refused to delay a defamation suit filed against President Donald Trump by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice.
From left to right: Summer Zervos, Orange County woman and former "Apprentice" contestant, arrives to New York County Criminal Court on December 5, 2017, in New York.
She came forward in October 2016, the month before Trump was elected, after an "Access Hollywood" recording showed Trump speaking in vulgar terms about women.
A panel of NY appellate judges issued its ruling Thursday in a case brought by Summer Zervos in which Trump accused her - and numerous other women - of being liars for alleging that he sexually harassed them.
Zervos, an "Apprentice" contestant in 2005, accused Trump of kissing her against her will at a 2007 meeting in NY, and later groping her at a Beverly Hills hotel.
Judges in the appellate division of the first judicial department agreed with Zervos, saying the Supreme Court's decision "did not encroach upon the exercise of the executive powers of the President" and that the Supremacy Clause was "never meant to deprive a state court of its authority to decide cases and controversies under the state's constitution".
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"We believe that the well-reasoned dissenting opinion by 2 of the 5 justices, citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Clinton v. Jones case, is correct in concluding that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution bars state courts from hearing cases against the President while he or she is in office", he wrote.
President Trump's attorneys have argued his words were opinions and protected speech made during the course of a competitive campaign.
In statements to the media in 2016 and then in her January 2017-filed complaint, Zervos claimed Trump sexually assaulted her twice in 2007.
Zervos filed her defamation lawsuit three days before Trump's inauguration.
President Trump had argued that the case should be postponed until he is out of office because of immunity that he has as a president.
That paved the way for Mr Clinton's impeachment the following year. "Notwithstanding that concern, this Court should not be deterred from holding that a state court can exercise jurisdiction over the President as a defendant in a civil lawsuit".
Zervos appeared on "The Apprentice" in 2006, when Trump was the reality show's host.
Summer Zervos, left, leaves NY state appellate court with here attorney Mariann Wang, Thursday in October past year.