Toronto journalist backs up Stoynoff's sexual assault allegations against Trump

Toronto journalism professor Paul McLaughlin is backing up Canadian journalist Natasha Stoynoff's account of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump, saying his former student called him after the incident.

Paul McLaughlin says Natasha Stoynoff called him shortly after alleged incident in 2005

Donald Trump denounced those accusing him of sexual assault, including Canadian journalist Natasha Stoynoff, as 'horrible, horrible liars' during a campaign stop in Florida on Thursday. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Toronto journalism instructor Paul McLaughlin is backing up Canadian journalist Natasha Stoynoff's account of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump, saying his former student called him after the incident.

Stoynoff, a former Toronto Star reporter, was profiling Trump and his wife Melania for People magazine in 2005 when she said Trump assaulted her at his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Fla. Her account, which was published Wednesday amid a number of similar reports, has been strenuously denied by U.S. Republican presidential candidate and his campaign.

McLaughlin was Stoynoff's journalism professor, and told CBC's The Current that Stoynoff used to call him for professional advice. He said Stoynoff called him shortly after the alleged incident, and told him how Trump "had come onto her very strongly, very aggressively, and that it could have been much worse if someone who worked for him had not come into the room and interrupted them."

"She was really rattled, as you can understand," said McLaughlin. "She didn't know what to do, she was very conflicted, she was angry, she was really confused about how to deal with this."

'He was aggressive, he was litigious'

After discussing the situation together, McLaughlin said, Stoynoff decided it would be best if she kept the incident to herself.

"It was going to be a he said, she said," McLaughlin said. "And we were talking about one of the most influential people in North America at the time. He was just flying high with The Apprentice, he was aggressive, he was litigious."

Stoynoff ultimately decided to avoid any future assignments involving Trump, which McLaughlin believed was the right decision.

Trump denies Stoynoff's account

Trump denounced those accusing him of sexual misconduct as "horrible, horrible liars" in a speech Thursday, targeting Stoynoff specifically.

"Look at her, look at her words," Trump said of Stoynoff. "You tell me what you think. I don't think so. I don't think so."

Trump also questioned Stoynoff's account by asking why she didn't mention the alleged assault in her subsequent story for People.

McLaughlin says he spoke to Stoynoff yesterday, after Trump's accusations.

"I said that if she wanted I would back up her story because I know it's true — 100 per cent."