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Melania Trump is responding to accusations made about her following a People story about her husband, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, by writer Natasha Stoynoff.
Stoynoff claimed in her story that she was forcibly kissed by Trump while working on a story for People in 2005. She also said that when she ran into Melania Trump after the incident Trump greeted her with a hug and asked why she doesn't see her anymore.
The letter, written by Trump's lawyer, Charles Harder, claims that there are statements in the story that are "false and completely fictionalized."
The letter demands that People "immediately and permanently remove" the statements and "print a prominent retraction and apology."
"Mrs. Trump did not encounter Ms. Stoynoff on the street, nor have any conversation with her. The two are not friends and were never friends or even friendly," the letter said. "At the time in question, Mrs. Trump would not even have recognized Ms. Stoynoff if they had encountered one another on the street."
Harder said in the letter that if the demands are not met within 24 hours of their receipt of the letter, it will "require Mrs. Trump to consider her legal options."
The letter comes after People editor in chief Jess Cagle wrote a statement explaining his reasoning for publishing Stoynoff's story:
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.
It is heartbreaking that her fear of retaliation by Trump kept her from reporting the incident when it happened. She has carried this secret for more than a decade, and we hope that by coming forward now she is relieved of that burden.