'People' Writer Who Accused Trump of Assault Says She's "Sad but Staying Hopeful" After His Win

Republican president-elect Donald Trump -election night event- Nov 9 - Getty-H 2016
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Natasha Stoynoff said she was "heartbroken" on Election Night.

Former People reporter Natasha Stoynoff has opened up about her feelings following Donald Trump's win.

Stoynoff accused Trump of forcibly kissing her in 2005 while she was writing a feature on him and then-pregnant Melania Trump. Her story made headlines and she was one of 12 women who came forward with allegations that Trump sexually harassed or assaulted them. Trump threatened to sue her and the other women who accused him of groping them.

In a story for People, Stoynoff said she was "heartbroken" as she watched the election results at her friend author John Irving's home in Canada. “Mostly at what the results said about so many Americans and what they were thinking, feeling and believing,” Stoynoff told People.

She said she's “sad but staying hopeful," adding, "I have faith in myself to move forward — and in my fellow Americans to band together and aggressively ensure that our laws protecting diversity and human rights not only stay intact but flourish.” 

Stoynoff' received a mountain of support following her essay detailing Trump's alleged assault. "The hundreds of emails and social media notes and phone calls of support tell me that most Americans want a president who is an honest human being with integrity,” she said. “And that gives me great optimism for the future of our country." Going forward, she said she will continue to write stories "about brave women who find their voices and fight injustice.”

People faced a slew of criticism and calls to boycott the magazine last week when it published a glowing cover of the president-elect and his family. Judd Apatow called the publication "disgusting" and accused editors of "selling their soul" for posting such a positive piece on Trump. "If I didn't love you guys so much, I wouldn't feel so sick. So much for that writer, eh?" said Chrissy Teigen.

A spokesperson for the magazine defended the decision saying, "Donald Trump’s win is a history-making news event that warranted the cover of the magazine. The story is not a celebration or an endorsement and we continue to stand by Natasha Stoynoff, whose account of being attacked by Trump in 2005 is recounted in this week’s cover story."