Donald Trump's status as president does not preclude him from facing former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos in court, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge.
Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump just before he took office, alleging derogatory statements he made following her sexual assault allegations caused personal and professional harm.
“In Clinton v Jones the United States Supreme Court held that a sitting president is not immune from being sued in federal court for unofficial acts,” Justice Jennifer Schecter wrote in a ruling released Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
“It left open the question of whether concerns of federalism and comity compel a different conclusion for suits brought in state court. Because they do not, defendant’s motion to dismiss this case or hold it in abeyance is denied."
Trump's legal team has argued that then-candidate Trump's statements were "non-actionable fiery rhetoric" and have accused Zervos of making politically motivated accusations against him.
Zervos alleges that Trump kissed and groped her during a 2007 meeting to discuss a job opportunity; Trump has consistently denied the allegations.
Naomi Mezey, a law professor at Georgetown University, told Bloomberg that the decision is likely to be repealed and may even go to the Supreme Court.