Ivanka Trump must answer questions in shoe design lawsuit

Ivanka Trump must give a deposition in a lawsuit by an Italian shoemaker claiming her fashion label copied its designs, a federal judge has ruled.

Aquazurra Italia filed the suit against Ivanka Trump and her company in June 2016. It claims the brand has produced cheaper knockoffs of Aquazurra’s “coveted” and highly publicized shoe designs.

At the heart of the lawsuit is Aquazurra’s “Wild Things” shoe. The company says the Ivanka Trump brand’s “Hettie” shoe too closely resembles the Aquazurra design.

Ivanka Trump’s lawyers have staunchly denied those allegations, according to court documents. They say the Aquazurra design lacks the “distinctiveness” it would need to be protected by intellectual property laws. Her lawyers have also said the lawsuit is a publicity stunt.

Ivanka Trump stepped down from her role at her namesake company shortly before her father was inaugurated in January.

She currently serves in an unpaid White House role as an adviser to President Trump.

Earlier this month, Ivanka Trump’s lawyers argued that she should not be deposed because she “does not possess any unique information” about the design process for the shoes in question.

The lawyers also said that Trump should be exempt because of her “special circumstances.” Forcing Ivanka Trump to be deposed “would be an unnecessary distraction and would interfere with her ability to perform her duties at the White House.”

But the judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, denied that request in a ruling Friday.

Forrest wrote that Ivanka Trump’s deposition is necessary because she was a company executive during the time the shoes were made and had “high-level, authoritative, personal involvement” in the company.

Ivanka Trump’s company declined to comment. Her lawyers did not immediately respond to CNNMoney’s request for comment.

The judge also wrote that “Ms. Trump’s public statements regarding active and comprehensive brand management lead to a reasonable inference that the shoe at issue would not have been released without her approval.”

Forrest ruled that Trump’s deposition must be kept to under two hours and done in Washington, D.C., where she currently resides. It must be completed by October, the judge said.

Follow this story

Deputies arrest firefighter after bar fist fight

A Monroe County firefighter was arrested after a Friday night fist fight at the Looe Key Tiki Bar in Ramrod Key.

Dustin Hunt’s victim told Monroe County deputies that Hunt started hitting him after he refused to give him a cigarette. The bartender helped to break up the fight.

Hunt told deputies that the other man had attacked him, but deputies said witnesses identified Hunt as the attacker. Hunt was arrested and faces a battery charge.

Deputies notified Monroe County Fire Chief James Callahan, who said Hunt could face disciplinary action. 

Follow this story

Deputies arrest firefighter after bar fist fight

A Monroe County firefighter was arrested after a Friday night fist fight at the Looe Key Tiki Bar in Ramrod Key.

Dustin Hunt’s victim told Monroe County deputies that Hunt started hitting him after he refused to give him a cigarette. The bartender helped to break up the fight.

Hunt told deputies that the other man had attacked him, but deputies said witnesses identified Hunt as the attacker. Hunt was arrested and faces a battery charge.

Deputies notified Monroe County Fire Chief James Callahan, who said Hunt could face disciplinary action. 

Follow this story

Man runs over Publix employee in Florida Keys, deputies say

Monroe County deputies arrested a 55-year-old man accused of running over a Publix supermarket employee in the Florida Keys.

Deputy Vincent Torres linked William Malloy and a truck to the May 26 incident with the help of surveillance video. Malloy was also accused of trying to steal from the store. 

Malloy “ran his truck into the manager of the store when the manager tried to stop him from leaving,”  Deputy Becky Herrin said in a statement.  

Deputy Matthew Cory spotted the truck on Thursday. During the traffic stop, he noticed that Malloy was not wearing his seat belt, was driving with an expired license, and didn’t have a valid registration. 

Maloy was held at the Monroe County jail. He was facing traffic violations, and charges of theft and aggravated battery.

Follow this story

Diver vanishes off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

A man was in a The Lady Go Diver excursion to the SS Copenhagen shipwreck on Saturday morning when he vanished at sea. 

The 50-year-old man disappeared about half a mile off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, according to the Coast Guard.

The search team included boat crews from the Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.

A Coast Guard helicopter from the Miami air station was also helping with the search. 

The Lady Go Diver is a commercial boat charter with the Dixie Divers at 455 South Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach.  

This is a developing story. Refresh this link for the latest information. 

Local 10 News Marcine Joseph contributed to this report. 

Follow this story