Natasha Stoynoff, a former People Magazine writer who came forward last week to say that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her while she was on a reporting assignment at Mar-a-Lago, has witnesses to back up her story.
In an essay published in People last week, Stoynoff alleges the GOP presidential nominee pushed her against a wall, shoved his tongue in her mouth, and told her they were going to have an affair.
At least six other people say she’s telling the truth.
Since the Washington Post first published audio of the real estate mogul bragging about assaulting women, a flood of women have come forward to say they have personally experienced assault and abuse at the hands of the GOP nominee. Trump has vehemently denied the allegations that have come to light over the past two weeks, including the accusation from Stoynoff.
His wife, Melania Trump, has attempted to cast doubt on Stoynoff’s story by taking issue with one of the details in her People Magazine essay. Stoynoff wrote that she ran into Melania on the street several months after the alleged attack; Melania, through a letter from her lawyer, says she “did not encounter Ms. Stoynoff on the street, nor have any conversation with her” and adds that she didn’t know Stoynoff well enough to recognize her.
But on Tuesday, People Magazine published accounts from six different people who corroborate Stoynoff’s account, including a college friend of Stoynoff’s who says she was there when Stoynoff ran into Melania Trump.
“They chatted in a friendly way,” Liza Herz, identified as someone who met Stoynoff in college, told People.
Other sources who talked to the magazine include colleagues and friends of Stoynoff’s who say she confided in them about the alleged assault. One woman identified as Stoynoff’s “longtime friend” says that Stoynoff called her the very next day to describe what happened and recount how upset she was about being assaulted while she was trying to do her job as a reporter.
People reports that Stoynoff also contacted her former journalism professor, Paul McLaughlin, who advised her not to speak up about the incident out of concern that Trump would aggressively retaliate against her.
It was tough decision but in a he said/she said we believed she would lose. He seemed rather nasty at the time.
— Paul McLaughlin (@paulmcl) October 14, 2016
McLaughlin’s fears are currently being borne out on the campaign trail, as Trump and his surrogates have attempted to silence and shame the women who are speaking up against him — accusing them of lying, suggesting they’re looking for their “15 minutes of fame,” and even calling them ugly.
So far, Trump has not provided meaningful evidence to counter any of the accusations made against him, which span decades and track closely with the behavior he bragged about in the recently published audio tape.
At the end of last week, the Trump campaign promised to produce evidence to back up Trump’s assertion that the women accusing him of assault are not telling the truth. That “proof” turned out to be an interview in the New York Post with a British man who refutes one of the accounts of sexual assault that allegedly occurred more than three decades ago — a man who has a well-documented history of lying to the press.
Stoynoff acknowledges that Trump simply may not recall the alleged assault against her that she says took place in 2005.
“It’s possible he just doesn’t remember it,” Stoynoff told People. “It was over 10 years ago and I assume I am one of many, many women.”