Melania Trump Threatens to Sue People Magazine Over Assault Story

Melania Trump has demanded a retraction and apology from People magazine for an article accusing Donald Trump of forcing himself on a reporter. Melania says parts of the account, written by writer Natasha Stoynoff, are “false and completely fictionalized.” Stoynoff, one of many women to come out with allegations against Trump in recent days, alleged in the piece that Trump forced himself on her at the couple’s Mar-a-Lago estate while Melania, then heavily pregnant, was in another room. The part of the piece Melania took issue with, however, was an encounter Stoynoff said she had with Melania months after the incident. “That winter, I actually bumped into Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Barron,” Stoynoff wrote. “‘Natasha, why don’t we see you anymore?’ [Melania Trump] asked, giving me a hug. I was quiet and smiled, telling her I’d missed her, and I squeezed little Barron’s foot.”

Charles Harder, Melania’s lawyer, says the encounter never happened. In a statement tweeted by Melania on Thursday night, Harder said: “The true facts are these: Mrs. Trump did not encounter Ms. Stoynoff on the street, or have any conversation with her. The two are not friends and were never friends or even friendly.” Harder said Melania would “consider her legal options” over the “actionable” claims if a retraction is not made within 24 hours. Separately, Donald Trump has also claimed the alleged assault never happened. On Thursday, he threatened to sue The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post over articles featuring sexual-assault allegations made by other women.