A former contestant of reality show The Apprentice, who last year accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, is suing the President-elect for defamation.

Just two days before Trump will be sworn in the 45th president of the United States, Summer Zervos has filed the claim, stemming from an accusation Trump made about her and other women who accused him of sexual assault before November's election.

Zervos, who appeared on season five of the reality show with Trump, accused him of kissing and groping her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.

When she and a number of other women came forward, Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania, "All of these liars will be sued after the election is over".

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Donald Trump appeared with Summer Zervos on The Apprentice. Photo / AP
Donald Trump appeared with Summer Zervos on The Apprentice. Photo / AP

Trump has not sued, but Zervos has.

The Hollywood Reporter said she would not be able to directly sue for sexual assault because of a statute of limitations.

Instead, she's echoing the legal strategy by many of Bill Cosby's accusers by suing over comments that allegedly branded her a liar.

Zervos' lawyer, Gloria Allred, told Australian news programme Sunrise this morning she expected Trump to seek to have the case thrown out.

"It would not surprise me at all if President Trump sought to either delay this case or to have this case dismissed," she said.

"In other words, not to battle it out and fight it. That would be perhaps his goal, not to have to face the consequences, which could potentially be consequences he would have to face if the lawsuit went to trial.

"On the other hand, he could surprise us all and retract his statements about my client. We will wait and see."

Allred told the programme US presidents had protection from lawsuits stemming from their professional practice while in office, but the same did not apply to their private affairs.

She said a precedent had been set by a lawsuit filed against Bill Clinton while he was in
office that accused him of sexual assault before he become president.

"In the case that Paula Jones brought against then-president Clinton, in which she claimed he sexually harassed her while governor of the state of Arkansas, the United States Supreme Court decided that that case, which was being litigated while Clinton was president, could proceed because even a president is not above the law," she said.

"He may have immunity for official acts but not for allegations of private, personal conduct.

"We believe that we are on solid ground to file this lawsuit and proceed with this lawsuit and that's what went on to do. There is a precedent."