Ex-Trump aide files defamation suit over abuse allegations

National

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former Trump aide and U.S. House candidate in Ohio has filed a defamation lawsuit over allegations of physical abuse that his former girlfriend and White House colleague is leveling while promoting her new book.

Republican Max Miller, a candidate for Ohio’s 16th House District, filed the complaint against former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a court in Cleveland on Tuesday.

The Cuyahoga County judge has denied Miller’s request for an immediate restraining order against Grisham, whose promotional tour includes several national interviews. The judge set a hearing for Oct. 13.

In Grisham’s new book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House,” and in a Tuesday opinion piece in the Washington Post, she claims a fellow member of then-Republican President Donald Trump’s staff physically abused her.

While Grisham did not use Miller’s name, his complaint acknowledges he is the boyfriend in question.

Miller’s lawsuit says the article is “replete with libelous and defamatory false statements” — including that their relationship “turned abusive” and ”had become violent,” that he “got physical” with her and that “this ‘great guy’ had anger issues and a violent streak.”

“Of course I expected this. It’s another form of abuse and intimidation, and it’s right out of the Trump playbook,” Grisham said in a statement responding to the suit.

The column also said Grisham told the president and first lady Melania Trump, for whom she also previously worked, that her relationship had turned abusive and they “didn’t seem to care.”

Miller’s lawsuit contends that Grisham is leveling the abuse allegations with actual malice, intending to harm him.

Her actions are “in retaliation for her failed relationship with Plaintiff, in retaliation against those associated with the Trump Administration for her failed stint as White House Press Secretary, in a malicious attempt to secure personal financial gain by selling more books, and/or for other reasons to be revealed at trial,” according to the complaint.

Trump encouraged Miller to run and has endorsed him against fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a one-time rising star within the GOP who voted to impeach the former president for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Gonzalez announced on Sept. 17 that he would not seek reelection, citing “toxic dynamics” inside the Republican party.

Matthew Diemer, a podcast producer from Bay Village west of Cleveland, is running on the Democratic side.

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