A season 5 contestant on The Apprentice has alleged that Donald Trump “aggressively” sexually assaulted her at a Los Angeles hotel in 2007.
Summer Zervos leveled the allegations against Trump during a press conference led by attorney Gloria Allred on Friday in the California city at the same time Trump was addressing his supporters in North Carolina.
Zervos said that she reached out to Trump after being “fired” from the popular reality show in 2007, and asked him to grab lunch while she was visiting New York City. Instead, Trump invited Zervos to her office, where he greeted her with a kiss on the lips, she alleged.
Throughout the meeting, Zervos claimed that Trump was “extremely complimentary,” and allegedly told her that he would “love to have me work for him.” Zervos said that they arranged to meet up in Los Angeles the next time he traveled to the city, and alleged that the businessman kissed her, again, on the lips as she left.
She explained Friday that she felt “nervous and embarrassed” by the gesture, but still left her phone number for Trump.
Later, Trump phoned Zervos at her home in Huntington Beach, allegedly calling her his “OC (Orange County) Angel.” In another phone call, he told Zervos he would be coming to Los Angeles. They arranged a dinner to supposedly discuss employment opportunities at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he was staying.
Upon arrival at the famed hotel, she said that she was escorted by security to Trump’s bungalow. When Trump entered around 15 minutes later, Zervos alleged, “I stood up and he came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me towards him.”
She claimed that she walked away, taking a seat across the room before he beckoned her to sit next to him on a love seat. “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, he grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom.”
Zervos said that she walked out of the bedroom, but Trump turned her around and asked her to “lay down and watch telly telly.”
“He put me in an embrace and I tried to push him away,” she alleged. “I pushed his chest to put space between us and I said ‘Come on man, get real.’ He repeated my words back to me, ‘Get real’ as he began thrusting his genitals. He tried to kiss me again and with my hand still on his chest I said ‘Dude, you’re trippin’ right now,’ attempting to make it clear that I was not interested.”
They then dined together, and had a conversation encompassing her home mortgage and personal life. The next day, Zervos alleged, Trump invited her to his golf course and set her up on a tour with his general manager. She claimed she never saw Trump in person again, but outlined several phone interactions regarding employment with the businessman’s company.
Trump responded to Zervos’ story on Friday, issuing a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
“I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years,” he said. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14th of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California.”
Trump added, “Hillary Clinton can spend all of her time and money pushing complete lies against our campaign, but I refuse to fall victim to this vicious cycle of personal attacks. In the coming days I plan on addressing our nation in a more personal way to present my vision for how together we fight to bring back American jobs and defend our country against radical Islamic terrorism.”
In a statement about Zervos’ allegations, Allred said, “Many people ask why accusers are coming forward now to allege sexual misconduct by Mr. Trump. The answer is simple.”
“Some may have held what they allege as a secret within them for many years,” she said. “Some 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 thought they were the only ones who were victimized. Much of that changed when Mr. Trump’s own words on the Access Hollywood tape broadcast last Friday described his assaults on women in obscene language that Mr. Trump later described as ‘locker room talk.’ ”
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Zervos is the second woman on Friday alone to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against the GOP nominee. Kristin Anderson alleged to the Washington Post earlier in the day that Trump sneaked his hand up her skirt without permission while at a nightclub in the early 1990s. Trump denied her claims Friday during a speech in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Multiple women spoke out against Trump this week, claiming they were involved in incidents of assault or misconduct at the hands of the mogul.
Trump has repeatedly denied all allegations against him, reiterating during Friday’s speech — delivered at the same time Zervos was addressing the press — that the mounting allegations are “total fiction” and “I have no idea who these women are.”