US President Donald Trump on Monday (16 October) dismissed all sexual assault allegations against him, calling them "fake" and "made-up". His remarks came days after his campaign was subpoenaed as part of a defamation suit filed by former reality show contestant Summer Zervos.
"All I can say is it's totally fake news. It's fake and made-up stuff and it's disgraceful what happens, but that happens in the world of politics," the president told reporters at the White House. Trump had denied the allegations on earlier occasions too.
Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, claimed in October 2016 that Trump had sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions in 2007. She claimed the then media baron had kissed her twice on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York City office and at a hotel in Beverly Hills. Trump also touched her breasts during the second encounter, Zervos had said.
Zervos and many other women had made similar allegations against Trump after a 2005 videotape surfaced in early October 2016 showing him bragging about groping women, AFP news agency wrote.
Trump, who was the Republican presidential candidate at that time had said that the comments recorded on the tape were "locker-room banter" and accused his adversaries of trying to tarnish his image.
Responding to Zervos' claims, Trump had said: "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.
"In fact, Ms Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14 of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California," Trump had reportedly claimed.
Meanwhile, the subpoena, filed on 19 September, requires the Trump campaign and its affiliates to hand over all documents on Zervos and her associates in addition to all documents on "any woman alleging that Donald J Trump touched her inappropriately". The subpoena was first issued in March, CNN reported.
The subpoena also requires the campaign to furnish documents on "any accusations" made during Trump's election campaign that he "subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior" as well as on the president's responses to those allegations.
Zervos' defamation suit reportedly stated that "Trump became obsessed with calling Ms Zervos and any other woman who came forward to report his abuse liars with improper motives".
Trump is a "liar and misogynist" who has "debased and denigrated Zervos with false statements about her," the suit further added.