Natasha Stoynoff, one of the nearly dozen women who have come forward with allegations of inappropriate conduct on the part of Donald Trump, has been a focus of the nominee’s ire.
People Magazine published a story last week detailing the ordeal of one of its former reporters who alleges that Donald Trump forced himself on her during an interview at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The nominee immediately went on the attack calling Stoynoff a liar and mocking her physical appearance, “all 100 percent, totally and completely fabricated. She lies! Look at her, look at her words, I don’t think so.”
A short while after People published the story, Melania Trump’s lawyers sent a letter to People asking for retraction of a portion of the story where Ms. Stoynoff referenced the bumping into each other on 5th Avenue. In a bizarre turn of events, through her lawyers, she claimed that the two had never met on 5th Avenue and demanded that People retract that portion of the story.
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) October 13, 2016
On Monday, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Mrs. Trump again raised Stoynoff’s claim as to the 5th Avenue meeting:
“The story that came out in People Magazine, the writer she said my husband took her to the room and started kissing her, she wrote in the same story about me that she saw me on 5th Avenue, and I said to her ‘Natasha, how come we don’t see you anymore?’ I was never friends with her, I would not recognize her.”
On Tuesday, People published a follow up story, this time producing six witnesses. Two of the witnesses are People editors, one is a People writer, one is Stoynoff’s former journalism professor, and two are Stoynoff’s friends, one of whom says that she was with Stoynoff a few months after the alleged assault when they ran into Melania Trump on 5th Avenue outside of Trump Tower as Melania was carrying her son Barron, who was a baby at the time. Liza Herz, Stoynoff’s friend, says that she was with Stoynoff at the time and that the two “chatted in a friendly way.”
In her account, Stoynoff wrote that the alleged incident with Donald Trump occurred during a break in their interview when Mrs. Trump went to change her outfit in between photo shoots. While Mrs. Trump was gone, he allegedly insisted on showing Stoynoff a particular room of Mar-a-Lago. When inside the room, he forced himself on her. The incident allegedly ended when Trump’s butler walked into the room.
Stoynoff’s former journalism professor Paul McLaughlin said that she contacted him crying and looking for advice on what to do on the night of the alleged assault. Last week, after Stoynoff came forward and became the focus of Trump’s attacks, McLaughlin took to Twitter in support of his former student.
In 2005, Natasha Stoynoff phoned me, distraught, crying. Said Trump assaulted her. She is telling truth. #natashastoynoff
— Paul McLaughlin (@paulmcl) October 13, 2016
Natasha/I discussed what to do re Trump. We both thought he would try to destroy her if she charged him. #natashastoynoff
— Paul McLaughlin (@paulmcl) October 14, 2016