Trump to provide written responses in Summer Zervos defamation lawsuit

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to provide written answers to questions in a defamation lawsuit brought by a former contestant on the television show “The Apprentice,” according to court papers filed on Friday.

Lawyers for Trump and Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos agreed to exchange sworn answers to written questions by Sept. 28, according to the filing in New York State Supreme Court.

Zervos’ lawyer Mariann Wang declined comment. Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz could not immediately be reached.

Zervos, an Apprentice contestant in 2005, had accused Trump of kissing her against her will at his New York office in 2007 and later groping her at a meeting at a hotel in California. She came forward with the allegations in October 2016 shortly before Trump’s election. Trump has denied the allegations.

Zervos sued Trump for defamation in 2017 after he labeled such allegations lies and retweeted a post calling her claims a hoax.

Trump and Kasowitz have been fighting the lawsuit, arguing in court filings that a sitting U.S. president is immune from being sued in a state court during his term in office.

Justice Jennifer Schecter of the New York state court in Manhattan in March rejected Trump’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit, saying she found “absolutely no authority” to end litigation over purely unofficial conduct because he was a sitting president.

Reporting by Dena Aubin; Editing by Lisa Shumaker