A room service receipt for a lone club sandwich could prove Donald Trump a liar and Summer Zervos a sex crime victim.
Zervos has said that is what Trump ordered after he used a dinner invitation as an opportunity to grope her and grind against her repeatedly in his room at the Beverly Hills Hotel a decade ago.
“Dinner consisted of a club sandwich and fries, which Ms. Zervos and Mr. Trump shared,” reports the complaint that accompanied the defamation suit she filed against him for calling her a liar.
If Zervos had not actually been in the hotel room with Trump, how could she possibly have known exactly what he ordered?
The hotel’s signature “Sunset Club Sandwich” does and did come with fries, as the complaint says. The complaint adds a detail that makes the account seem all the more convincing when you consider that Trump’s mother, Mary Anne, was famous for arriving at the family’s outer borough apartment buildings in a red Rolls-Royce and visiting their laundry rooms to collect any coins left in the change return slots of the washers and dryers.
“He complained about the price.”
But, as the complaint tells it, the price—$24 now, a bit less in December 2007—was not Trump’s only concern in ordering a single sandwich after Zervos repeatedly pushed him away:
“When dinner arrived, Mr. Trump asked Ms. Zervos to wait in the adjoining room (not the bedroom), while the waiter was delivering the food. After the waiter left, Mr. Trump told her she could come out.”
By this account, Trump must have wanted the hotel staff to think he was alone, as would be further suggested by the single sandwich.
Had Zervos not remembered that lone club sandwich and noted it in the complaint, Trump might have now been able to use the receipt to contest his accuser’s account.
After all, what kind of billionaire would invite a woman to dinner in his room, order one club sandwich, and expect her to share it?
Maybe a billionaire who was seeking to punish a woman who failed to turn receptive when he welcomed her with a sexual assault.
“Mr. Trump immediately started kissing Ms. Zervos open mouthed, pulling her towards him,” the complaint says of the moments after she was escorted from the hotel entrance to the room by a Trump security man who then departed.
“Ms. Zervos walked away and sat on a chair, trying to make conversation, but Mr. Trump asked her to sit next to him on a love seat. Ms. Zervos complied. After Ms. Zervos sat next to him, Mr. Trump grabbed her shoulder, again kissing her very aggressively, and placed his hand on her breast.”
The complaint says Trump was not one to take no immediately for an answer.
“He embraced her and she tried to push him away, shoving his chest away from her and telling him sternly ‘come on man, get real,’” the complaint asserts. “Mr. Trump repeated her words back to her lasciviously, drawing out the second word and saying, ‘get reeeeal,’ as he began to press his genitals against her, trying to kiss her again.”
The complaint continues, “Ms. Zervos again told him she was not interested, saying ‘dude, you’re tripping right now.’ Mr. Trump asked her what she wanted, and she replied that she had come for dinner. Mr. Trump then said, ‘okay, we’ll have dinner.’”
By this account, Trump “paced around the room and seemed angry” that she had not responded as he deemed his due.
“He told her that he did not believe that she had ever known love or been in love,” the complaint says.
The complaint reports that Trump then became “all business,” making sure the room service waiter did not see her. He offered her his particular kind of counseling as they split the club sandwich.
“The conversation focused on Ms. Zervos’s mortgage on her home. Ms. Zervos told Mr. Trump that her mortgage was in good standing,” the complaint says. “Mr. Trump told her to let her mortgage go into default and then tell the bank that they could take back her home. He told her to tell the bank that she would be leaving the keys to her home on the table, and the bank could come pick them up. He said that it was a mini-version of what he does.”
He spoke as if he were imparting the secret to financial success. He said nothing about his bankruptcies. He did not tell her that doing what he does had caused every major financial institution except Deutsche Bank to cut him off.
“He was emphatic that Ms. Zervos should not make another payment on her loan,” the complaint says.
His wisdom duly dispensed, Trump was done.
“He abruptly ended the conversation saying he needed to go to bed,” the complaint reports.
Trump could not have imagined that in eight years and 11 months he would be elected president of the United States. An investigation into whether Trump colluded with the Russians on the way has now come to include the question of whether Deutsche Bank’s laundering of billions for Putin’s pals had anything to do with it continuing to lend Trump hundreds of millions when no other bank would lend him a dime.
During the campaign, the infamous Access Hollywood tape had surfaced, attesting to Trump’s moral bankruptcy in gloating he could do anything he wanted with women because he was “a star.” Zervos was among the 10 women who were prompted to come forward.
Trump responded by calling the women liars. Zervos responded with her lawsuit in New York Supreme Court. Trump’s lawyers have argued that a sitting president cannot be sued in state court. They further argue that he was only engaging in “political speech” during a campaign that is protected by the First Amendment. A Manhattan judge heard oral arguments this week and is expected to issue a ruling soon.
In the meantime, Trump has in effect also branded as liars the women who have accused Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama. These women say Moore approached them when they were in their teens. Leigh Corfman says she was just 14 when Moore came upon her and her mother waiting for a custody hearing in the same courthouse where he served as assistant district attorney.
One detail of Corfman’s account is worth remembering when you see the photos of Moore sporting a cowboy hat and riding in a horse to vote: She recalls that he had country music on the car radio as he drove her to his house.
Two other details are worth remembering: She also recalls that the drive was a half-hour from the court and that his house was in a wooded area.
Both are exactly right.
How would a 14-year-old know that about the assistant district attorney unless she had actually been to his house?
And, if she had actually been in his house despite his repeated denials, you have to believe that the rest of her account is true, including what constituted a sexual assault on a child.
In the same way, if Zervos had actually been in the hotel room with Trump despite his denials, you have to believe the rest of her account of what constituted a sexual assault.
And all it would take to prove she had been in the room would be proof that Trump ordered a single club sandwich for dinner during a stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel in December 2007.
An order of Trump’s more typical burger or convincing proof that he had not stayed at the hotel that month would indicate Zervos is the liar Trump has called her.
If the Manhattan judge rules that Zervos’ defamation suit can go ahead, the receipt would be among the mountains of materials that could be subject to discovery. He would have that club sandwich to explain during a sworn deposition that Zervos’ lawyers say they are willing to schedule at Mar-a-Lago between golf outings.
If the judge rules for Trump, the receipt would still establish the truth one way or the other.
How about it, Mr. President?
Surely, your accountants saved your expense records for your inevitable IRS audits.
If you continue to use those audits as an excuse for not releasing your tax returns, how about at least releasing one measly room service receipt?