May 20, 2022

Summer Zervos (R), a former candidate for “The Apprentice,” arrives with attorney Gloria Allred at the New York Criminal Court in New York on December 5, 2017.

I have Betancur | AFP | Getty Images

New York’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Donald Trump’s appeal against a libel case against him by a former candidate on his reality TV show “The Apprentice” on the grounds that Trump’s arguments are no longer valid because he is no longer president.

The New York Court of Appeal’s ruling resets the lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, who says Trump defamed her in 2016 when he called her a liar after she accused him of sexually assaulting her years earlier.

“As a private individual, the defendant has no further excuse to postpone justice for Ms. Zervos and we aim to return to court and prove her claims,” ​​Zervos attorney Beth Wilkinson said in a statement.

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Zervos claims Trump groped her in a hotel room in 2007. Shortly after making her allegations public, Trump said the women who made allegations of sexual misconduct against him were “liars” and he threatened to sue them.

Zervos filed a lawsuit in New York. Trump’s most recent appeal on the case argued that the U.S. Constitution does not give state courts the power to try cases against a seated president.

State courts are “not allowed to exercise control (i.e. jurisdiction) over the president while he or she is in office,” Trump’s lawyers said in a trial last May.

The case had been put on hold since March 2020 when the Supreme Court denied a motion by Zervos’ attorneys to continue collecting evidence while Trump’s arguments were examined.

In February, Zervos lawyers called on the appeals court to dismiss Trump’s appeal, saying the now-former president would not fight them, The Associated Press reported.

The court granted this application in a one-sentence ruling on Tuesday morning.

“The request for the rejection of the complaint issued and the rejection of the complaint free of charge on the grounds that the questions submitted have become controversial,” it said.

A Trump attorney did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on the ruling.