Zervos’ lawyer Gloria Allred said during a press conference that the lawsuit was filed in New York on Tuesday and “seeks to make Donald Trump accountable for the damage he has caused Ms. Zervos,” who has accused the president-elect of sexual assault.
“Enough is enough. Truth matters. Women matter,” Allred said. “Those who allege that there were victims of sexual misconduct or sexual assault by Donald Trump matter.”
Zervos volunteered to take a polygraph examination ahead of the press conference in regard to her assault claims, Allred said. The polygraph was administered by a “very experienced” polygraph examiner, Allred claimed, and Zervos passed.
Allred said that Zervos is willing to dismiss the lawsuit if the president-elect retracts his “false statements” about her and confirms that her allegations are true.
Zervos, who competed on season 5 of the reality show during Trump’s tenure as host, previously detailed her claim that the now-president-elect assaulted her at a Los Angeles hotel in 2007, after first kissing her – without consent – on the lips at Trump Tower.
That year, Trump allegedly phoned Zervos at her California home, and asked her to visit the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he was staying, for a so-called business meeting.
After arriving at Trump’s hotel room, Zervos alleged that Trump began kissing her “very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.” Despite pushing back, Trump tried to pull her into the suite’s bedroom, and put her “in an embrace.”
“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.”
After the incident, Zervos said they ate dinner together and – despite one visit to a Trump golf course and unfulfilled offers of employment – she never saw the president-elect again.
In October, Trump responded to Zervos’ story with a statement obtained by PEOPLE: “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.”
Then-candidate Trump further said publicly that all of the women alleging him of assault were “liars.” He said that the accusations are “all 100 percent, totally and completely fabricated,” and “in just about all cases, nonsense.”
Zervos and Allred held another press conference in November – following Trump’s election – claiming that the businesswoman had been “threatened” for speaking out.
At the time, Allred said that she and Zervos had “no present intent” to bring a lawsuit against the president-elect.
—Reporting by NICOLE SANDS