Advertising

People magazine has published interviews with six witnesses who corroborate reporter Natasha Stoynoff's story of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump when she was doing a profile for his first wedding anniversary with Melania. Trump has since called her a liar and too ugly to assault ("She lies! Look at her, I don’t think so"). In addition, Melania demanded a retraction, but only for the part of the story where Stoynoff says she ran into Mrs. Trump a year later in front of Trump Tower with infant Barron, and Melania asked "Natasha, why don’t we see you anymore?"

Advertising

Five of the six witnesses came forward to say Stoynoff told them of Donald's attack immediately after it happened. The sixth was actually with her when she had the encounter with Melania a year later. The other witnesses are a long-time friend Stoynoff immediately called, journalism professor Paul McLaughlin, whose advice she sought, two People editors and another reporter. Everyone agreed on one thing: there wasn't enough evidence for court, and he would retaliate massively. As her professor told People:

“She wasn’t sure what she should do,” McLaughlin recalls. “I advised her not to say anything, because I believed Trump would deny it and try to destroy her.”

“It was tough decision but in a he said/she said we believed she would lose,” the professor said in a tweet regarding the incident. “He seemed rather nasty at the time.”

Advertising

In case you missed it, Stoynoff claimed that while interviewing the couple at Mar-a-Lago, a heavily-pregnant Melania went off to change. At this point, Trump pulled her into a room and forced himself on her, pinning her with his weight before his butler came in and interrupted. Shaken, she didn't know what to do but finish the interview (Donald immediately reverted to doting husband), and decided with her editor she didn't want a war with Trump. According to People's editors, these details have not changed over the years.

Advertising

Deputy East Coast News Editor Mary Green returned to PEOPLE’s New York-based staff in December 2005 after a three-year hiatus excited to reconnect with Stoynoff. However, Stoynoff was haunted by her recent experience, and she opened up to Green about the encounter.

“In an early conversation we had in her office, she told me about what happened with Donald Trump,” Green said. “She was shaky, sitting at her desk, relaying that, ‘He took me to this other room, and when we stepped inside, he pushed me against a wall and stuck his tongue down my throat. Melania was upstairs and could have walked in at any time.’

“She talked about her shock, and wondered why it had happened, if she had done anything wrong. I assured her she hadn’t. She was also angry that he had forced himself on her, that she was glad someone had interrupted him, because he was surprisingly strong.”

Advertising

Stoynoff, like the other women coming forward against Trump, changed her mind when Donald told Anderson Cooper in the second debate that he had never acted in the way he described in the infamous Access Hollywood tape.

People magazine may be colloquially known as a soft-focus celebrity magazine, but they deal with extremely litigious, wealthy, and powerful people every day. The other women who are accusing Trump may be on their own against his fame and legions of die-hard followers, but People has probably interviewed more Scientologists than any publication on Earth, and they have the legal department to match. Trump may be claiming every single media outlet in America is secretly run by Hillary Clinton and "globalist" bankers, but it seems like People is more than a match for The Orange One all on their own.