People magazine announced Tuesday that six witnesses have corroborated former writer Natasha Stoynoff’s account that Donald Trump made inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances toward her during an interview in 2005.
Among the witnesses are Stoynoff’s close friends and family, one of which says she was with Stoynoff when they ran into Melania Trump on the street. Trump denied seeing Stoynoff on the street in a letter from her lawyer threatening legal action against People and Stoynoff.
“They chatted in a friendly way,” Liza Herz told People. “And what struck me most was that Melania was carrying a child and wearing heels.”
Another friend, Marina Grasic, who has known Stoynoff for more than 25 years, explained Stoynoff’s hesitation to come forward, especially because Melania Trump was pregnant at the time of the alleged incident.
“Natasha was also struggling about not hurting pregnant Melania if the story came out,” Grasic told the magazine. “Beyond just the attack, she was horrified by the vulgar circumstances under which she was attacked and propositioned to have an affair. She was there in a professional capacity, writing an article about their happy marriage, and after the incident Trump acted like nothing happened.”
Some of Stoyoff’s former coworkers at People, including east coast editor Liz McNeil, deputy east coast news editor Mary Green, and another employee, Liza Hamm, also said Stoyoff confided in them about the incident close to the time that it happened.
Paul McLaughlin, Stoynoff’s former journalism professor, also spoke out on Twitter and said that Stoynoff called him the night of the alleged incident. McLaughlin said he advised her to stay silent.
In 2005, Natasha Stoynoff phoned me, distraught, crying. Said Trump assaulted her. She is telling truth. #natashastoynoff
— Paul McLaughlin (@paulmcl) October 13, 2016
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
Stoynoff told the magazine that there is a possibility Trump is denying the alleged incident because it happened so often and was so long ago.
“It’s possible he just doesn’t remember it,” Stoynoff said to People. “It was over 10 years ago and I assume I am one of many, many women.”