Natasha Stoynoff Speaks Out: 'I Don't Want Women to Feel Afraid'
For Natasha Stoynoff, coming forward to tell the story of Donald Trump's attack was not something she took lightly
Sitting down to talk to PEOPLE Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle on camera for the first time in a People/Entertainment Weekly Network exclusive, Stoynoff explains how she has dealt with her story taking over national headlines.
Stoynoff, 51, says, “Sometimes people ask me if I regret writing what I wrote and I said no, because what has really shocked me are the hundreds of emails I’ve gotten from women who, first of all, say what I wrote made them feel not alone.”
“And these are women who had far worse experiences than I described,” Stoynoff continues. “They [also] said it inspired them to speak out, that they had been silent about whatever their situations had been for many years.”
She adds, “The positive response to me, personally, overrides anything negative that I have heard on television or the internet.”
Three weeks ago, on Oct. 12, former PEOPLE writer Stoynoff first described how the Republican candidate physically attacked her while she was covering his first wedding anniversary with wife Melania for PEOPLE in December 2005.
While at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Stoynoff said, “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.”
Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for Trump previously said in response to Stoynoff’s account, “This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story.”
With just days to go before the election on Nov. 8, Stoynoff says she has been buoyed by support from both friends and strangers, including hundreds of women.
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As for why she’s speaking out again now, Stoynoff says, “I think I am speaking out now for the women who have got in touch with me. I don’t want women to feel afraid to speak out.”
Stoynoff adds, “And the emails I’ve received from strangers thanking me for helping them not feel alone and for helping them to speak out…has moved me a great deal and I want to honor them and thank them.”
“I thought perhaps I should speak for myself as well.”
Click here for the full interview with Stoynoff.