CLEVELAND — A Northeast Ohio Republican congressional candidate is suing an ex-girlfriend and former White House press secretary for defamation after she came forward with allegations of abuse.
Former aide to President Donald Trump Stephanie Grisham said Max Miller, who is running for the 16th Congressional seat currently held by Anthony Gonzalez, physically abused her on the day they broke up. A Washington Post op-ed by Grisham, who served as press secretary for both the former president and former first lady Melania Trump, talks about her book "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in the Trump White House" that was released Tuesday.
The article talked about an unnamed, abusive ex-boyfriend who also worked in the White House. Grisham further talked about the allegations on Jake Tapper's show on CNN, "The Lead," Tuesday afternoon.
"As you talk about, actually I talk about, today, I had an ex that I dated and there was abuse in every way there," Grisham told Tapper. "That's something that I actually told the president and first lady about."
“The person you talk about, you don't name him in the book, but his name is Max Miller, he is running for Congress," Tapper said.
"I didn't put his name in there on purpose because I’ve moved on and if there's anything that I can take away from this experience, it's that I’m almost stronger than ever now," Grisham said.
Following Grisham's article and remarks, Max Miller and his attorney, Larry Zukerman, filed a defamation lawsuit in Cuyahoga County. The 13-page complaint claimed the Washington Post article was "replete with libelous and defamatory false statements" about Miller and also stated the op-ed was a "malicious attempt to secure personal financial gain by selling more books" as a retaliation against those associated with the Trump administration by someone with a "failed stint as White House Press Secretary."
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Zukerman told 3News Grisham was "trying to destroy Mr. Miller's reputation, political career, and personal life with her false allegations." He went on to say that a "thorough and independent investigation will confirm that Ms. Grisham has 'no proof' to corroborate her allegations."
Miller and Zukerman also filed a premilitary injunction and restraining order in an attempt to keep Grisham from speaking about the allegations any further. A judge denied the request. A hearing in the case has been set for next Wednesday in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
In his statement, Zukerman asserted Grisham's allegations are retaliation for Miller "breaking her heart by ending their relationship and subsequently becoming engaged to Emily Moreno," whose father, Bernie Moreno, is a U.S. Senate candidate in the state of Ohio.
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