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Trump sued for defamation just days before inauguration

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Attorney Gloria Allred introduces Victor Jay Zuckerman, left, the former boyfriend of Allred's client, Sharon Bialek, during a news conference in Shreveport, La., Monday, Nov. 14, 2011. Zuckerman said Monday that he and Bialek met Herman Cain in the late 1990s, directly contradicting Cain's assertions that he had never met Bialek, who has accused the Republican presidential contender of inappropriate sexual behavior. (AP Photo/Kita Wright)

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Donald Trump.

President-elect Donald Trump was plagued by scandals during the course of his presidential campaign last year, several of them related to accusations of sexual assault. A total of 12 women came forward shortly after audio leaked of Trump bragging about grabbing women by the genitals, and Trump responded by calling the accusers "liars" in addition to insisting he would pursue legal action against them after the election.

The statute of limitations for a civil assault case is one year in New York, so any suit for sexual assault would likely be time barred. However, because Trump made these remarks about Zervos recently, Zervos can sue for the alleged defamation based on the sexual assault.

On Tuesday, famed civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred held a press conference in Phoenix, Arizona, with one of Trump's accusers, former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos, who told reporters that she will not be "intimidated into silence." She also requested that Trump retract his statement calling her a liar.

Allred said that Zervos is suing Trump for defamation. Allred claimed that Trump “knowingly, intentionally, and maliciously threw each of these women under the bus” and that he caused them great distress by calling them liars.

As TheBlaze reported in October, Zervos initially accused Trump of kissing her on the mouth and "inviting her into his Los Angeles 'bungalow' in 2007 for a business meeting where he allegedly groped her, kissed her and attempted to '[thrust] his genitals' on her."

The lawsuit filed Tuesday challenges Trump to choose to admit what Allred called “sexually inappropriate behavior” or fight the accusations in court.

The press conference was streamed, courtesy of Fox 10 Phoenix.

Spokeswoman for Trump's transition team Hope Hicks issued a short statement on behalf of Trump, saying, "More of the same from Gloria Allred. There is no truth to this absurd story.”

This story will be updated as details emerge.

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