Six individuals willing to be identified by name have come forward to corroborate details of Natasha Stoynoff’s allegations that Donald Trump once sexually assaulted her.
Stoynoff penned a first-person account outlining her accusations against Trump that People published last week. She describes traveling to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in 2005 as a writer for that magazine to report a story on Donald and Melania Trump’s first wedding anniversary. While she was there, Stoynoff claims, Trump pushed her against a wall, “forcing his tongue down my throat.”
Now, six people described in a separate People story as “colleagues and close friends” of Stoynoff’s are backing up details of her account. One of the individuals, Liza Herz, claims that she was with Stoynoff when she ran into Melania Trump in New York City, an encounter Stoynoff wrote about last week, but which the mogul’s wife disputes. “They chatted in a friendly way,” Herz said. “What struck me most was that Melania was carrying a child and wearing heels.”
After People published the original allegations, a law firm representing Melania Trump sent the magazine a letter demanding a “retraction and apology,” claiming that the details about the two women seeing each other on the street were “completely fictionalized.” During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday, Melania Trump again denied ever running into Stoynoff. “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,” she said.
Five other named witnesses have also come forward who say that Stoynoff confided in them about the alleged assault after it happened. Here are two of them, from People:
Marina Grasic, who has known Stoynoff for more than 25 years, says she got a call from her friend the day after the attack. Stoynoff detailed everything about the attack, from Trump pushing her against a wall to the business mogul showing up at her massage appointment the following day, she says.
[...] Stoynoff’s former journalism professor, Paul McLaughlin, says that the writer called him in tears looking for advice the very night of the harrowing encounter. However, he cautioned her to remain quiet in fear of how Trump may retaliate.