NEW YORK — Melania Trump is demanding People Magazine to apologize and retract the claim that writer Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, had met her in 2005.
Trump's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, sent the letter to People Thursday evening, a day after Stoynoff's story of the alleged sexual assault was published. Two other people also have come forward claiming the Republican candidate had made unwanted sexual advances on them.
Trump tweeted the letter addressed to Mr. Cagle and Ms. Stoynoff.
In the letter, Trump said the article, titled "Physically Attacked by Donald Trump — a PEOPLE Writer's Own Harrowing Story," contained a meeting that was "false and completely fictionalized."
Trump's lawyer said that the encounter Stoynoff described with Melania Trump in the winter of 2005 did not happen. Stoynoff wrote in the article:
"That winter, I actually bumped into Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Barron.
'Natasha, why don’t we see you anymore?' she asked, giving me a hug.
I was quiet and smiled, telling her I’d missed her, and I squeezed little Barron’s foot. I couldn’t discern what she knew. Did she really not guess why I hadn’t been around?"
Trump claimed she never met Stoynoff then and that she "would not have even recognized Ms. Stoynoff if they had encountered one another on the street."
"We therefore demand that you immediately and permanently remove each of these statements from the Story and print a prominent retraction and apology," the letter read. Trump has threatened to sue if the retraction is not made.
Stoynoff wrote an article detailing the time she went to Mar-a-Lago to interview Donald Trump in December 2005. She said the business mogul pushed her against the wall and forced "his tongue down [her] throat" when they were alone in a room.
Trump then told her they were going to have an affair and offered to take her out to Peter Luger's for steaks, according to the writer's article.
The Trump campaign told People magazine: "This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story."
The candidate then took to twitter to say: "Why didn't the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the 'incident' in her story. Because it did not happen!"
People Magazine editor-in-chief Jess Cagle responded in a statement, writing, "We are grateful to Natasha Stoynoff for telling her story. Ms. Stoynoff is a remarkable, ethical, honest and patriotic woman, 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. To assign any other motive is a disgusting, pathetic attempt to victimize her again. We stand steadfastly by her, and are proud to publish her clear, credible account of what happened."