Six Colleagues and Close Friends Corroborate Writer Natasha Stoynoff's Story
Last week, amid the flood of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior accusations against Donald Trump, former PEOPLE magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff penned a first-person account charging the Republican nominee of pushing her against a wall and "forcing his tongue down my throat."
Wondering how Trump could make her "feel so utterly violated," Stoynoff detailed how upsetting the alleged attack was, and noted her "self-esteem crashed to zero."
But it wasn't the alleged attack that led to a threat of a lawsuit, and it wasn't Donald Trump who made the threat.
That winter, I actually bumped into Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Barron.
"Natasha, why don't we see you anymore?" she asked, giving me a hug.
I was quiet and smiled, telling her I'd missed her, and I squeezed little Barron's foot. I couldn't discern what she knew. Did she really not guess why I hadn't been around?
PEOPLE refused to delete the passage or the article, instead, Tuesday afternoon publishing an article titled, "PEOPLE Reveals 6 Witnesses Who Corroborate Natasha Stoynoff's Story of Being Attacked by Donald Trump."
"Six colleagues and close friends who corroborate former PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff's account of being attacked by Donald Trump in 2005 are now coming forward," the article begins. "Among them is a friend who was with Stoynoff when she ran into Melania Trump later in N.Y.C."
The wife of the Republican nominee denies meeting Stoynoff after the attack, but Stoynoff's friend Liza Herz remembers being there during the chance meeting.
"They chatted in a friendly way," Herz, who met Stoynoff in college, says. "And what struck me most was that Melania was carrying a child and wearing heels."
In an interview that aired on CNN Monday evening, Melania Trump told Anderson Cooper, "I was never friends with her, I would not recognize her."
Today's PEOPLE article includes the stories of five other people who corroborate Stoynoff's account, including her former journalism professor, who, PEOPLE reports, says he "advised her not to say anything, because I believed Trump would deny it and try to destroy her."
Others include a friend of 25 years in whom she confided, two PEOPLE editors, and a co-worker at PEOPLE.
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