• Politics
  • Donald Trump

Former Apprentice Contestant Says Donald Trump Sexually Harassed Her, Kissed Her on the Mouth

4 minute read
Updated: | Originally published: ;

A woman who was a contestant on Donald Trump’s show The Apprentice said in a press conference Friday that Trump kissed her on the mouth, stripped naked and attempted to seduce her when she met with him for professional advice.

Speaking at a press conference Friday arranged by attorney Gloria Allred, Summer Zervos described two encounters with the Republican presidential nominee.

After she was fired from The Apprentice, Zervos said she reached out to Trump for professional advice in 2007 and met him at his office. When she arrived, she says he kissed her on the lips and complimented her for her “balls” on seeking a meeting with him. She said they had a productive professional meeting and she “felt as thought I was reaching for the brass ring.” As she was leaving, she says Trump again kissed her on the lips.

Zervos said she told a friend and her parents what had happened, but they decided that it was simply an overly personal greeting and she let it go.

Shortly afterward, Zervos said that Trump called to tell her he was coming to Los Angeles, and they arranged to meet for dinner. When she arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel, she said was taken to a bungalow where Trump called out from another room, apparently unclothed. She said he later came out of the bedroom, clothed, and “started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me toward him.”

She said he again kissed her “very aggressively” and put his hand on her breast, grabbed her hand and walked her into the bedroom, suggesting they “lay down and watch some telly-telly.” She said she pushed him away told him to “get real,” and he repeated the words back to her and moved his crotch in a way she interpreted as mockingly seductive. Zervos said Trump seemed “a bit angry” that she kept rejecting him.

When dinner arrived, Zervos said, Trump suddenly reverted to all business. She said he suggested she “maneuver to get out of debt” on her mortgage by letting her home go into default and then telling the bank they could take it back, calling it a “mini version of what he does.” She said he also invited her to visit him at his golf course the following day.

After she left the bungalow, Zervos said she told her father what happened and asked him for advice about what to do. She decided to keep her appointment at the golf course. She said she met Trump at the golf course, got a tour from the manager, and then never saw him again. Zervos said she called Trump and told him she was upset, and that “I felt I was being penalized for not sleeping with him.”

“Even though Mr. Trump had sexually harassed me, I still wanted to get a job within the Trump Organization,” she said. He told her to lose his phone number.

In a statement later Friday, Trump said he “vaguely” remembers Zervos. “I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago,” he said. “That is not who I am as a person, and it is now how I’ve conducted my life.”

Zervos grew emotional as she described how her dealings with Trump affected her self-image. She said she wrote him an email to him about it, but that he did not reply.

“Mr. Trump, when I met you, I was so impressed with your talents and I wanted to be like you,” she added. “Instead you treated me as though I was an object to be hit upon.”

“You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star,” she concluded.

The press conference was scheduled for the same time as a Trump rally in which the nominee ramped up his attacks against the women accusing him of sexual assault, calling them unattractive and saying their stories were lies.

In brief questioning after the press conference, Zervos said she was a Republican. When asked why she decided to come forward at this time, she said “I want to be able to sleep when I’m 70 at night.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com