Mayor Adams yet to be served complaint in sex assault lawsuit filed against him: chief counsel

Mayor Adams
Neither Mayor Eric Adams nor City Hall have been served a complaint in the sexual assault lawsuit against him filed last week.
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Neither Mayor Eric Adams nor City Hall have yet been served with a summons in a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him last week, the mayor’s chief counsel said Tuesday.

Hizzoner again flatly denied the allegations during his weekly off-topic press conference on Nov. 28. Adams also emphasized that he does not recall ever meeting his accuser, who alleged in her legal filing he assaulted her when they both worked for the city in 1993.

“When you look at this specific incident that impacts me, I’ve stated over and over again, it’s not who I am,” the mayor said. “Those of you who have covered me, those of you who know me, I’m a protector. I would not harm someone, I would not do something that is being alleged. That is not who I am as a person.”

The mayor’s chief counsel, Lisa Zornberg, said during the off-topic press conference Tuesday that no one in the administration has yet been presented with a complaint in the case, which would include more details on the allegations.

“Neither the mayor nor the city have been served with the summons that became public I think the morning of Thanksgiving,” Zornberg said. “No complaint has been filed.”

Zornberg added that Adams’ accuser, whose name is being withheld by amNewYork Metro due to the sensitivity of the matter, has a history of filing numerous lawsuits and even wrote a book offering pro se legal advice on bringing such actions.

“All we have is a bare undetailed summons filed by a person who … in her own words, is so litigious that she’s written a book on how to file lawsuits telling people to follow her lead because quote, ‘you just may win,’” Zornberg said.

She said the city’s Law Department will defend the mayor in the suit if he is served.

In the suit, filed in New York County Supreme Court late last Wednesday, the plaintiff alleges that Adams sexually assaulted her 30 years ago — when Adams was a transit cop with the NYPD.

The three-page preliminary filing does not include details of the alleged incident but names Adams, the NYPD’s transit bureau and the New York Police Department Guardians Association as defendants and is seeking $5 million in damages.

Adams’ accuser filed the complaint under the Adult Survivors Act, a state law that established a one-year window in which those who say they were sexually assaulted could bring civil actions against their alleged abusers even if the statute of limitations had expired. The suit against Adams was filed just before the law’s one-year window closed last week.

Adams insisted that while he believes in the Adult Survivors Act himself, he did not commit the alleged behavior.

The mayor is hardly the only high-profile figure to be accused of sexual abuse under the Adult Survivors Act. Other notable defendants under the law include state Sen. Kevin Parker — as first reported by amNewYork Metro former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, music producer and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs and actor Jamie Foxx.

The assault allegation comes at a perilous time for Adams as his campaign is the subject of a sprawling federal corruption investigation and his approval rating has taken a big hit. Adams has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the federal probe.