Joining the increasing list of women accusing Donald Trump of inappropriate behaviour, a former contestant of the reality TV show "The Apprentice" has alleged that the Republican presidential candidate made unwanted sexual advances and groped her in 2007.
At a news conference in Los Angeles, Summer Zervos alleged that the incident took place after she was eliminated from "The Apprentice" show Season 5 and approached Trump for work at one of his golf courses.
"In 2007 I was going to New York for a social obligation. I contacted Trump's office to see if he was available for lunch. I was informed that he could not have lunch, but that he would like to meet me in his office. When I arrived he kissed me on the lips. I was surprised, but felt that perhaps it was just a form of greeting. We sat and spoke. He was extremely complimentary," she alleged.
Accompanied by her lawyer Gloria Allred, Zervos said during the meeting, she requested for a job, to which Trump agreed.
"He said that he was impressed with how I handled myself on 'The Apprentice'. He said he was allowed to have me work for him. Trump said he would be coming to Los Angeles soon and he would contact," she told reporters.
"I felt as though I was reaching for my brass ring. I was very excited. I felt as though my dream of working for Trump might come true. As I was about to leave, he again kissed me on the lips. This made me feel nervous and embarrassed. This is not what I wanted or expected.
"He asked me for my phone number. I left hurriedly and called a friend who lived in New York because I was upset by the kiss. I also called my parents to let them know what had happened," she said.
Trump called Zervos when he came to Los Angeles and asked her to meet him at the Beverly Hills Hotel, besides enquiring where she would like to have dinner.
"When I arrived, his security guard greeted me at the hotel. He walked with me to greet Trump. I assumed we were going to a restaurant in the hotel. Instead, I was taken to a bungalow," she said.
Zervos alleged that it was then that Trump made unwanted sexual advances at her and groped her.
However, John Berry, a first cousin of Zervos said that the press conference by her was a publicity stunt as all these years she said nothing but praised Trump.
Trump has denied the allegations, saying, "I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years. 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 14th of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California," Trump said.
The accusation against Trump comes just days after at least five women accused him of sexual assault and harassment, threatening the controversial Republican presidential nominee's already fragile campaign that was rocked by the surfacing of a video in which he is seen making lewd remarks about women.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)