Former President Donald Trump scored two big legal victories Friday and avoided having to sit for a deposition in a defamation lawsuit after former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos agreed to drop her claims, according to a court filing, and a New York judge granted Trump’s motion to dismiss a 2019 lawsuit filed by his former personal attorney Michael Cohen against the Trump Organization.
Zervos had sued Trump in 2017 after he denied allegations that he sexually assaulted her. A judge had recently ordered Trump to sit for a deposition in the case by December 23.
Zervos’ attorneys said in a statement, “Today the parties have ended Zervos v. Trump. After five years, Ms. Zervos no longer wishes to litigate against the defendant and has secured the right to speak freely about her experience. Ms. Zervos stands by the allegations in her complaint and has accepted no compensation.”
No additional details were available about the agreement or why Zervos decided to drop the lawsuit.
In another win for Trump Friday, New York Judge Joel Cohen granted Trump’s motion to dismiss Michael Cohen’s against his company which sought reimbursement of legal fees.
“Mr. Cohen’s legal fees arise out of his (sometimes unlawful) service to Mr. Trump personally, to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to the Trump Foundation, but not out of his service to the business of the Trump Organization, which is the only defendant in this case,” Judge Cohen wrote in his order.
Cohen sued the Trump Organization, saying that after he began cooperating with federal investigators, the company failed to fulfill its contractual obligations to indemnify him or pay his legal bills relating to his work for the firm.
In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Trump Organization said, “Today’s incredible victory for the Trump Organization puts an end to the frivolous litigation by convicted felon Michael Cohen. While the Southern District of New York already found that Mr. Cohen engaged in a ‘smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct…motivated by personal greed and ambition,’ Mr. Cohen attempted to invent a basis for requiring the Trump Organization to pay his legal fees for personal criminal conduct (including perjury). Mr. Cohen’s attempts at self-enrichment, however, once again failed. Having won this case, we now look forward to seeking monetary damages against Mr. Cohen for all of his despicable conduct.”
Michael Cohen criticized the judge’s decision in a statement to CNN Friday.
“I think it’s a terrible decision by Justice Cohen based upon the fact that I was directed to handle the matters that I did at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J Trump and the Trump Organization. Over the course of the weekend I will be evaluating with my counsel whether to file an appeal or not,” he said.
This story has been updated with additional reporting Friday.
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