Former People Magazine Writer on Trump Accusations: ‘We Cannot Be Silent Anymore’ | NBC Southern California
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Former People Magazine Writer on Trump Accusations: ‘We Cannot Be Silent Anymore’

"I didn’t tell my story for politics, I told it for women," Natasha Stoynoff said



    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

    The former People magazine writer who accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct responded to the Republican presidential nominee, saying in an article published Tuesday that women "cannot be silent anymore."

    The magazine also said six people close to Natasha Stoynoff have come forward to corroborate her story, including a friend who was with Stoynoff when she ran into Melania Trump later in New York City.

    Stoynoff, 51, said Trump forced himself on her at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in 2005 while his wife went to change for a photo shoot. Stoynoff said she was there to interview Trump and his then pregnant wife Melania, 11 months after the couple’s wedding for a People cover story.

    Stoynoff recalled taking a tour of the mansion prior to the incident. "We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat," Stoynoff wrote. She said Trump also told her, "We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you."

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    Eight other women have accused Trump of having touched them inappropriately and of being treated as objects over several decades, allegations Trump has denied.  

    "Women are talking about this, and they need to," Stoynoff said in the story published Tuesday on "We cannot be silent anymore. I didn’t tell my story for politics, I told it for women."

    Trump said during a rally in Florida last week that all the allegations of sexual miscondunct are "all 100 percent, totally and completely fabricated." He added about Stoynoff, "She lies! Look at her, I don’t think so." 

    "I was obviously good-looking enough for him at the time to force-kiss me and insist that we were going to have an affair," Stoynoff told People. 

    NBC News has confirmed none of the allegations of sexual misconduct. Trump and his campaign have denied that he has ever behaved toward women in a way reflected in 2005 "Access Hollywood" video in which he was recorded bragging about having made sexually inappropriate advances to married women. "Access Hollywood" is owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, MSNBC and this station.

    "It’s possible he just doesn’t remember it," Stoynoff told People of the incident. "It was over 10 years ago and I assume I am one of many, many women."

    In a pair of interviews with CNN and Fox News this week, Melania Trump suggested that the women who have come forward were attention-seekers who were making "damaging and unfair" accusations. 

    "I believe my husband," she told CNN in an interview that aired Monday night. "My husband didn't do anything."

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    Melania Trump, 46, has also demanded retractions from Stoynofff, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper that information in the article was fabricated.  

    "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 Fifth 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," she said. 

    But Stoynoff’s friend Liza Herz told People she remembers being there during the meeting on Fifth Avenue. 

    "They chatted in a friendly way,” said Herz, who met Stoynoff in college. "And what struck me most was that Melania was carrying a child and wearing heels."

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    Five other people back up Stoynoff's version of what happened to her at the Florida estate, according to People.  People Editor in Chief Jess Cagle said in a statement previewing the story that it would include "named sources who can corroborate Natasha Stoynoff’s account.

    Marina Grasic, who has known Stoynoff for over 25 years, told People Stoynoff detailed Trump's attack to her and was "struggling about not hurting pregnant Melania if the story came out."

    "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," Grasic said. 

    Stoynoff’s former journalism professor, Paul McLaughlin, told People she called him crying and looking for advice the night of the incident. He advised her not to discuss it publicly, fearing Trump may retaliate.

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    Stoynoff went on to share details of the encouter with People East Coast Editor Liz McNeil and Deputy East Coast News Editor Mary Green. Another coworker, Liza Hamm, who was friends with McNeil, also knew what allegedly happened to Stoynoff.

    Melania Trump also repeated her husband's assertion, which he has made without supporting evidence, that the media and Clinton campaign are working in tandem to sink the Republican nominee's campaign.

    NBC has reached out to the Trump campaign for responses to Stoynoff's latest comments and those by Cagle, the People editor.