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Trump campaign staffer Jessica Denson sues to void nondisclosure agreement

Jessica Denson said in court documents that she was sexually and verbally harassed by a supervisor while working for the Trump campaign.

by Dartunorro Clark /

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A Los Angeles woman who worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan to void a confidentiality agreement she signed, claiming the agreement has been "weaponized" to silence her allegations of discrimination.

Jessica Denson, a journalist and actress, said in court documents filed on March 26 that she was consistently disparaged and sexually and verbally harassed by her supervisor while working for the campaign as a phone bank administrator and later as the Hispanic outreach coordinator.

Denson sued Trump's campaign in New York state court for discrimination in November. She said she suffered from emotional distress due to the "pervasive slander, aggravated harassment, attempted theft, cyberbullying and sexual discrimination and harassment" she endured at the hands of her supervisor.

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Denson, who is representing herself in both suits, is the third woman to come forward to attempt to quash a confidentiality agreement connected to the president. Adult film star Stormy Daniels has sued the president to nullify a nondisclosure agreement about an alleged affair, while former Playboy model Karen McDougal also filed a lawsuit for the right to speak publicly about a "sexual relationship" she says she had with Trump more than a decade ago.

Denson said in court documents that she wants a judge to nullify the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) she signed with the campaign because it "violates public policy" and is too "vague and overly broad." She also said Trump has "weaponized the NDA by using it as a club to thwart and chill" her discrimination allegations.

Denson attached a copy of the campaign confidentiality agreement with her lawsuit, which prohibits the disclosure of confidential information about Trump, his children and their spouses, his grandchildren and his company.

Trump’s campaign tried to move her earlier suit to arbitration in December and is seeking $1.5 million in damages from Denson, according to a copy of the campaign's request attached to the March filing. By filing the discrimination suit, the Trump campaign argued, she published confidential information and disparaged the campaign, which violated the nondisclosure agreement.

In her discrimination suit filed last year, she claimed that the campaign punished her for reporting her supervisor's harassment by diminishing the conditions and scope of her employment, which prevented her from being promoted. Members of the campaign mounted a "slander crusade" against her, she said, which included allegations that she leaked Trump’s tax documents in October 2016.

In her March filing, Denson maintained that her previous suit contained "no allegations whatsoever pertaining to the personal life or business affairs of Donald Trump or any of his family members or businesses" and therefore did not violate the agreement because she has the right to discuss the discrimination she endured while working for the campaign.

She is seeking $25 million in damages.

A Trump campaign representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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