Charles Herbster, who is a Republican Nebraska governor candidate backed by former President Donald Trump, sued one of his sex assault accusers.

He filed a defamation lawsuit Friday against Grand Old Party state lawmaker Julie Slama, who recently accused him of groping her at a local party event in 2019, reported ABC News. In the lawsuit it is alleged that Slama falsely accused Herbster and hurt his reputation. This was allegedly done in an effort to derail his campaign ahead of the state Grand Old Party's hotly contested May 10 primary.

Herbster said in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, that the accusations “lack even a shred of credibility” and have damaged his reputation. He is described in the suit as “the victim of a politically motivated and groundless attack by a political opponent, who resorted to false and malicious lies” accusing him of scandalous behavior.

He is in a competitive race with state Senator Brett Lindstrom and University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, among other candidates. Pillen won the endorsement of many party officials like Slama and Governor Pete Ricketts, who has criticized Herbster as unqualified for the job.

Earlier this month, Slama said that Herbster reached under her skirt and groped her at the Douglas County Republican Party's annual Elephant Remembers dinner in Omaha when she was 22. Seven other women also accused him of inappropriate physical contact.

On Friday evening, Slama's attorney Dave Lopez told CNN that the senator had not yet been served with the lawsuit. But Lopez added in a statement that to be sure, any claim that calls into question Slama's well-corroborated account of her sexual assault by Herbster would be "categorically without merit and frivolous." The lawyer said that Slama will "vigorously defend herself against any such lawsuit," and that Herbster will be subject to the "full scope of civil discovery if he proceeds with any legal attack against Slama."

Herbster, who has flaunted the endorsement of Trump, is considered to be a top contender for governor. Trump is expected to visit Nebraska Friday at a rally featuring Herbster. During a press conference on Wednesday, he told reporters he has not discussed the allegations with the former President.

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