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Colleagues, friends back People writer's Trump attack claim

Former People writer Natasha Stoynoff's account of being attacked by Donald Trump has now been corroborated by six colleagues and friends. People published statements from Stoynoff's close friends, coworkers, and former journalism professor, confirming that she had told them about about the incident and her distress over whether to come forward about it. Stoynoff claims that when she was profiling Trump and his then-pregnant wife Melania for People in December 2005, Trump shoved her up against a wall and forced his tongue "down [her] throat."

One friend, Liza Herz, said she was with Stoynoff when she bumped into Melania on Fifth Avenue, an incident Melania has denied. "I was never friends with her, I would not recognize her," Melania told CNN on Monday. However, Herz said the two "chatted in a friendly way," and she specifically recalled Melania "carrying a child and wearing heels."

Stoynoff's coworker Liza Hamm said she remembers Stoynoff telling her she "asked to be taken off the Trump beat, but she tried her best to move past the experience and continue to do her job well." Her former journalism professor, Paul McLaughlin, said he recalls advising her to "not to say anything" because he thought Trump "would deny it and try to destroy her."

Since Stoynoff came forward with her story last week, Trump has denied the incident, insisting that "she lies" and remarking, "Look at her, I don't think so."

Head to People to read the rest of the statements.