People The magazine sent correspondent Natasha Stoynoff to Mar-a-Lago in late 2005 to write a wedding anniversary story on Donald Trump, who had recently married Melania Knauss.
Nearly two decades later, her experience with the future president allegedly “forcing his tongue” down her throat could be essential testimony in the civil rape trial of E Jean Carroll that began Tuesday in federal court in New York City.
Before joining the magazine, Ms. Stoynoff was a reporter and photographer at the toronto starcolumnist for toronto sun, and a freelancer for Time Magazine. Then he worked for People magazine for almost 20 years. He now lives in New York, where he writes books and screenplays, according to his Goodreads biography.
Trump’s legal team was unable to stop the inclusion of Ms. Stoynoff’s testimony at trial.
Carroll claims that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in 1995 or 1996 and then smeared her in 2019 as president when he denied his accusation.
Approximately a decade after the alleged rape of Ms. Carroll, the People The magazine journalist was in Mar-a-Lago to interview Trump and his new wife.
“Now, I am a tall, stocky girl who grew up fighting with two giant brothers. I even trained with Mike Tyson once. It takes a lot to push me,” Stoynoff wrote in 2016. “But Trump is so much bigger, a looming figure, and he was quick, he caught me off guard and threw me off balance. He was stunned. And he was grateful when Trump’s butler burst into the room a minute later, as he was trying to let go of me.”
“The butler informed us that Melania would go down momentarily and that it was time to resume the interview,” he added.
Trump then asked, “You know we’re going to have an affair, right?” according to the reporter, adding that the next morning she went to the private club’s spa, where the receptionist told her that Trump had been waiting for her, but that she had left for a meeting.
Stoynoff later told his editors not to have him cover Trump again.
Carroll wrote for the atlantic in 2020 that “every new boxing trainer tells Natasha she should go pro. The blow of her is between hospitalization and murder ”.
Of the 2005 incident with Trump, Carroll wrote that Stoynoff “wish” he had punched the former president.
Alyssa Shelasky wrote for The cut that “Stoynoff was my mentor when I worked at People magazine, about ten years ago. She was the brilliant, hilarious, confident, warm writer who got all the good jobs because Larry Hackett, the editor-in-chief at the time, knew she was the best of her. Naturally, he adored her.
“It’s frustrating to interview Trump,” Stoynoff told Carroll in The Atlantic. “If all you need are snippets of sound, it’s easy. He has his only prayer ready from him to you. If you want something deeper, that’s a challenge. Because he doesn’t do deep.
Stoynoff noted that Melania Trump was “upstairs changing. Nothing led me to think that he would do such a thing,” she said of Trump’s alleged actions.
“I remember it was a dark room,” he said of the location where the incident occurred. “But there are windows, so not too dark. We enter. I’m looking around, wondering what he wants to show me. I hear the door close.
“I turn around. And he is right on top of me, pushing me against the wall,” she added.
In an opinion piece for the washington post In October 2019, Ms. Stoynoff wrote: “After the election, I told myself that his supporters didn’t believe” the women who had jumped into the public arena and accused Trump of misconduct.
“How else could they have voted for such a man? It took months before he realized the cruel truth: Trump supporters knew we were telling the truth. They just didn’t care,” he added.
“Within a year of my story being published, the #MeToo movement exploded…but still, the reckoning skipped over to Trump,” he wrote at the time.
But Ms. Stoynoff and her testimony about what happened in Florida in late 2005 may now be part of what law professor Harry Litman called “Trump’s biggest quote yet responsibly.”
On April 25, he tweeted: “The most important appointment of Trump so far with responsibility is the E Jean Carroll [civil rape] trial beginning today in NY federal court. The pieces are arranged so that it is absolutely lacquered. And come off as a liar, stalker, and sexual predator.”