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Friday, 14 October 2016 05:57

Donald Trump attacks former Toronto Star reporter’s credibility over assault allegation

“You look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don’t think so,” Trump says about Natasha Stoynoff Thursday afternoon. “These people are horrible people. They’re horrible, horrible liars.”

ATLANTA—A former Toronto Star journalist has accused Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her when she interviewed him for People magazine in 2005.

Natasha Stoynoff, now an author, came forward with her story on Wednesday, joining at least three other women whose accounts of alleged assaults by the Republican presidential candidate were published the same day.

Trump denied Stoynoff’s allegation of assault, as he did the allegations from other women.

“This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story,” a spokeswoman told People.

In a campaign speech Thursday afternoon, he continued to attack Stoynoff’s credibility.

“Why wasn’t it part of the story that appeared 12 years ago? Why wasn’t it part of the story... it would’ve been one of the biggest stories of the year.. think of it, [she’s doing this story] ‘and she said I made inappropriate advances,” said Trump.

“Take a look, you look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don’t think so,” he continued. “These people are horrible people. They’re horrible, horrible liars.”

People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle issued a statement defending Stoynoff.

“We are grateful to Natasha Stoynoff for telling her story,” Cagle’s statement read. “Ms. Stoynoff is a remarkable, ethical, honest and patriotic women, and she has shared her story of being physically attacked by Donald Trump in 2005 because she felt it was her duty to make the public aware….We stand steadfastly behind her, and are proud to publish her clear, credible account of what happened.”

The cascade of accusations poses a mortal threat to Trump’s campaign, which was already nearing collapse in the wake of a newly revealed September 2005 video in which he boasted to an Access Hollywood host about kissing and groping women without their consent.

Stoynoff worked for the Star for about two years in the early 1990s, as a reporter and photographer, and later for People for two decades. She said that Trump assaulted her three months after the Access Hollywood video was recorded, when she went to his Florida home at the Mar-a-Lago club to interview him and his wife Melania about their first anniversary.

Stoynoff had been on the Trump beat for People since the early 2000s, she wrote, and always had a “very friendly, professional relationship.”

“Our photo team shot the Trumps on the lush grounds of their Florida estate, and I interviewed them about how happy their first year of marriage had been. When we took a break for the then-very-pregnant Melania to go upstairs and change wardrobe for more photos, Donald wanted to show me around the mansion. There was one ‘tremendous’ room in particular, he said, that I just had to see,” she wrote.

“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.

“Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger — a looming figure — and he was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.”

Stoynoff said Trump told her soon after, “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” The next day, she said, she was alarmed when a Mar-a-Lago massage therapist told her Trump had been waiting for her in a massage room before she arrived for an appointment he had helped to arrange.

In the September 2005 video, leaked on Friday, Trump told Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that he sometimes kisses women soon upon seeing them.

“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he said. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Stoynoff said she disclosed the incident to a People colleague and “a few close friends and family” but otherwise kept quiet, trying to convince herself “it was no big deal.” She said she decided to speak out after she watched the Access Hollywood video and the presidential debate on Sunday, during which he specifically denied kissing and groping women without their consent and described his recorded comments as mere “locker room talk.”

“I’m not sure what locker room talk consists of these days. I only know that I wasn’t in a locker room when he pushed me against a wall. I was in his home, as a professional, and his beautiful pregnant wife was just upstairs,” Stoynoff wrote. “Talk is talk. But it wasn’t just talk in my case, it was very much action. And, just for the record, Mr. Trump, I did not consent.”

 Source : thestar

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