6 People Come Forward to Back Up Writer’s Claim of Alleged Trump Assault
ABC News(NEW YORK) — People has published a follow-up to last week’s story detailing an alleged incident in which Donald Trump is accused of pushing writer Natasha Stoynoff against a wall and forcibly kissing her while she was at his Mar-A-Lago estate interviewing him and his then-pregnant wife Melania Trump for a feature story in 2005.
Donald Trump has vehemently denied Stoynoff’s allegations from her first-person account, saying the alleged incident “never happened,” and, at a political rally, calling Stoynoff a “liar” and encouraging the crowd to “check out her Facebook page, you’ll understand.”
On Tuesday, People published a new piece quoting a half dozen individuals who said Stoynoff told them about the alleged incident shortly after it allegedly occurred.
The new story quotes two People editors, one People writer, Stoynoff’s former journalism professor and one of her friends, all of whom said that Stoynoff told them about the alleged incident with Donald Trump within hours or days of its occurrence.
Another friend said she was with Stoynoff a few months later when they allegedly ran into Melania Trump on Fifth Avenue outside of Trump Tower as she carried then-baby Barron. According to Stoynoff’s account, Melania Trump asked her why they don’t see her “anymore.” In today’s article, Stoynoff’s friend Liza Herz said she was with her at the time, and said Melania Trump and Stoynoff “chatted in a friendly way.”
After the publication of Stoynoff’s story on Thursday, attorneys for Melania Trump released a letter they sent to People firmly denying that the encounter with Stoynoff had occurred and demanding a retraction of that element of the story.
Melania Trump also denied her alleged encounter with Stoynoff in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that aired on Monday, saying that she was never friends with Stoynoff and wouldn’t recognize her.
Stoynoff wrote that the alleged incident with Donald Trump occurred during a break in their interview when Melania Trump went to change her wardrobe in between photo shoots. While Melania Trump was gone, Donald Trump insisted on showing Stoynoff a particular room of the Palm Beach estate, she wrote. She wrote that the alleged incident ended when Donald Trump’s longtime butler entered the room. (His now-former butler denied that this occurred in an interview with Western Journalism.)
Stoynoff’s former journalism professor Paul McLaughlin said that on the night of the alleged assault, Stoynoff called him crying and looking for advice on what to do, according to the follow-up story. He said he cautioned her to remain quiet for fear of how Donald Trump might retaliate.
Last week, McLaughlin insisted on Twitter that Stoynoff was telling the truth and that they both thought Donald Trump “would destroy her” if she pressed charges.
People later published Stoynoff’s story on the Trumps in January 2006 without any reference to the alleged assault.
Stoynoff wrote that she chose to speak out following the leak of Donald Trump’s 2005 recorded conversation with former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, in which Donald Trump said women “let you do” anything “when you’re a star.”
Stoynoff admitted in today’s story there’s a chance Donald Trump simply pushed her own incident from his mind. “It’s possible he just doesn’t remember it,” Stoynoff said. “It was over 10 years ago and I assume I am one of many, many women.”
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