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Ex-'Apprentice' Contestant Summer Zervos Says Trump Made Unwanted Sexual Advances

In a press conference, Summer Zervos said that her meeting with Trump about job opportunities turned into an unwanted sexual advance.
Image: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to the audience at a campaign rally in West Palm Beach
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to the audience at a campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Florida on Oct. 13, 2016.MIKE SEGAR / Reuters

Summer Zervos, a contestant on Season 5 of "The Apprentice," said she had "the utmost admiration" for Donald Trump, even after she was "fired" from the show.

But in a press conference Friday with attorney Gloria Allred at her side, Zervos became the latest in more than a dozen women who have described unwanted touching or assault at the hands of the Republican presidential candidate.

In 2007, Zervos said she asked for lunch with Trump to discuss employment opportunities. Instead, she met Trump at his office, where she said he told her "he would love to have me work for him," and kissed her on the lips twice. "This made me feel very nervous and embarrassed," Zervos said. "This is not what I wanted or expected."

A few days later, Zervos said Trump asked to meet her for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She was instead escorted to a bungalow where, she said, Trump "started kissing me open-mouthed" and groped her breast. "I pushed his chest to put space between us, and I said, Come on man, get real," Zervos said. "He repeated my words back to me, 'get real' as he began thrusting his genitals. He tried to kiss me again with my hands still on his chest, and I said, dude, you’re tripping right now, attempting to make it clear I was not interested."

Trump eventually agreed to have dinner, Zervos said, and the two talked business. Zervos said she was later offered a job at a Trump golf course for half of what she had told Trump she was seeking. Zervos said she called Trump to say "that I felt I was being penalized for not sleeping with him. Mr. Trump said he was golfing and could not discuss this at that time."

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NBC News has not independently verified the allegations, and has reached out the Trump campaign for a response to Zervos's account.

Trump has denied all of the accusations thus far. At a rally Friday, Trump said of the women who have come forward so far, "Some are doing it for probably a little fame, they get some free fame, it's a total set-up. Now, suddenly after many, many years, phony accusers come out less than a month before one of the most important elections in the history of our country."

Trump said in a statement Friday, "I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years," but added: "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," Trump said. "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."

Allred said that Zervos had "not intended to come forward" until the release of a recently unearthed Access Hollywood outtake of Trump bragging about how being famous means you could do anything to women, even "grab them by the pussy." "After hearing Mr. Trump on it, she decided it was her duty to speak out," she said. Allred said she had spoken to two individuals who confirmed Zervos had told them about her experience.

In April 2016, Zervos said in her Friday statement, she emailed Trump to tell him, in her words, "I have been incredibly hurt by our previous interaction." She said she received no reply.

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On Friday evening, the Trump campaign released a statement from a California man purporting to be Zervos' first cousin in which he said he was "shocked and bewildered" by her accusations.

"Ever since she was on 'The Apprentice' she has had nothing but glowing things to say about Mr. Trump," John Barry said in the statement. Barry accused Zervos of making the claims up because she "wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she’s saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump."

At the press conference Friday, Allred said, "Many more women have contacted me" with allegations against Trump. "Will they be coming forward? I can’t answer that question at this time. They won’t be coming forward today."

Also Friday, the Washington Post reported on an account by Kristin Anderson, who said she was at a New York City club in the 1990s when Trump without any prior contact reached under her skirt and underwear to grope her vagina. Trump's campaign has denied the allegation.