York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced his resignation
Monday night, hours after The New Yorker magazine published
allegations of physical abuse and controlling behavior by four
women who had romantic relationships or encounters with him.
been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General
for the people of the State of New York," Schneiderman
said in a statement.
the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly
contest, have been made against me.
these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or
the operations of the office, they
will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at
this critical time. I therefore
resign my office, effective at the close of business on
has to wonder what odds the bookies would have given for
Schneiderman to resign his office before Trump. Now we all wait
anxiously for President Trump's tweet on the matter.
2016, Schneiderman joked that he would leave the United States for
the Dominican Republic if Donald Trump is elected president.
Perhaps now is the time Eric?
is] the kind of person who goes to the Super Bowl and thinks the
people in the huddle are talking about him.” ―Eric Schneiderman
Eric, they're talking about you.
in bed, she recalls, he would be “shaking
me and grabbing my face” while demanding that she
repeat such things as “I’m
a little whore.” She says that he also told her, “If
you ever left me, I’d kill you.” -The New Yorker
York's Democratic Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman has
been a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement - suing Harvey
Weinstein in the wake of his sexual misconduct scandal and
advocating for women's rights. Now, Schneiderman himself
stands accused by four women of choking, hitting, and
threatening them during brutal,
alcohol-fueled sexual assaults.
the accusations are the New
Yorker's Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow - the latter
of whom broke bombshell
allegations last October by thirteen women involved
in the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
of Schneiderman's accusers did not reveal their identities,
while the other two, Michelle
Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have come forward
in full. All four accuse the New York Attorney General of heinous
and abusive sexual assaults - along with threats, mental
abuse, and stealing prescription medication.
have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But
two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya
Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record,
because they feel that doing so could protect other women.
They allege that he
repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed
and never with their consent. Manning Barish and
the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They
did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but
both say that they eventually sought medical attention after
having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also
choked.Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman
warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped,
and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up
with him. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he
“never made any of these threats.”) -The
of the anonymous accusers says Schneiderman told Manning Barish
and Selvaratnam that he "also repeatedly
subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence," but
was too afraid to come forward.
fourth woman - a prominent New York attorney, says that
Schneiderman slapped her across the face and left a mark after she
rebuffed his advances.
recalls screaming in surprise and pain, and beginning
to cry, and says that she felt frightened. She has asked to
remain unidentified, but shared a photograph of the injury with
The New Yorker.
in a statement said “In the privacy of intimate
relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual
sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged
in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
Manning Barish says her romantic involvement
with Schneiderman spanned the summer of 2013 until New Year's
Day, 2015, while Selvaratnam was with the AG from the summer of
2016 until the fall of 2017. Both women, as the New
Yorker writes, are
"articulate, progressive Democratic feminists in their forties
who live in Manhattan."
work and socialize in different circles, and although they have
become aware of each other’s stories, they have only a few
overlapping acquaintances; to this day, they have never spoken
to each other. Over
the past year, both watched with admiration as other women
spoke out about sexual misconduct. But, as Schneiderman used
the authority of his office to assume a major role in the
#MeToo movement, their anguish and anger grew. -The
months after the Harvey Weinstein story broke, Schneiderman's
office proudly announced that his office was filing a civil-rights
suit against the former movie mogul. In a February press
conference, Schneiderman denounced Weinstein, saying "We have
never seen anything as despicable as what we've seen right
then launched an investigation on May 2nd into the prior handling
of criminal justice complaints of Weinstein at the request of Governor
Andrew Cuomo, who said in a speech that "sexual-assault
complaints must be pursued aggressively, and to the fullest
extent of the law." As the New
Yorker notes, "The
expanding investigation of the Weinstein case puts Schneiderman
at the center of one of the most significant sexual-misconduct
cases in recent history."
activism on behalf of feminist causes has increasingly won him
praise from women’s groups. On
May 1st, the New York-based National Institute for
Reproductive Health honored him as one of three “Champions of
Choice” at its annual fund-raising luncheon.
Accepting the award, Schneiderman said, “If
a woman cannot control her body, she is not truly equal.”
Manning Barish sees it, “you cannot be a champion of women
when you are hitting them and choking them in bed, and saying
to them, ‘You’re
a fucking whore.’ ” -New
Barish said of Schneiderman's involvement in the Weinstein
can you put a perpetrator in charge of the country's most
important sexual-assault case?"
describes Schneiderman as “a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” figure,
and says that seeing him lauded as a supporter of women has made
her “feel sick,” adding, “This
is a man who has staked his entire career, his personal
narrative, on being a champion for women publicly. But he
abuses them privately. He needs to be called out.” -New
hypocrisy is epic,” says Manning Barish. “He’s
fooled so many people.”
she says, would
pressure her to drink to excess with him, often getting
plastered "two bottles of wine in a night."
would come over for dinner. An already half-empty bottle of red
wine would be on the counter. He had had a head start. ‘Very
stressful day,’ he would say.” Sometimes, if she didn’t drink
quickly enough, she says, he would “come to me like a baby who
wouldn’t eat its food, and hold the glass to my lips while
holding my face, and sweetly but forcefully, like a parent, say,
on, Mimi, drink, drink, drink,’ and essentially force
me - at times actually spilling it down my chin and onto my
chest.” Schneiderman, she recalls, “would
almost always drink two bottles of wine in a night, then bring
a bottle of Scotch into the bedroom. He
would get absolutely plastered five nights out of seven.” On one
occasion, she recalls, “he
literally fell on his face in my kitchen, straight down, like
a tree falling.” Another evening, he smashed his leg
against an open drawer, cutting it so badly that “there was
blood all over the place.” She bandaged it, but the next day she
went to his office to change the dressing, because the bleeding
also allegedly took prescription tranquillizers, says Manning
Barish, often asking her to refill her own Xanax prescription
so that he could steal half of them for
himself. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he has “never
commandeered anyone’s medications.”)
in bed, she recalls, he would be “shaking me and grabbing my
face” while demanding that she repeat such things as “I’m a
little whore.” She says that he also told her, “If you ever left
me, I’d kill you.”
after his election to the New York State Senate in 1998 where he
served for twelve years, Schneiderman wrote several laws, including
one which created specific penalties for strangulation in 2010.
He also chaired a committee that investigated domestic-violence
charges against former state senator Hiram Monserrrate (D), who
was kicked out of office after a conviction for assaulting his
the hearings, the legislators learned that New York State
imposed no specific criminal penalty for choking, even though it
is a common prelude to domestic-violence homicides. Not only did
Schneiderman’s bill make life-threatening strangulation a grave
crime; it also criminalized less serious cases involving “an
intent to impede breathing” as misdemeanors punishable by up
to a year in prison. “I’m just sorry it took us so long in New
York State to do this,” Schneiderman declared at the
think this will save a lot of lives.”
other Schneiderman accuser who revealed her name, Tanya
Selvaratnam - a feminist author, actor and film producer, says
that she met Schneiderman at the 2016 Democratic National
Convention. After they began dating, "it was a fairy tale that
became a nightmare," as Selvaratnam says Schneiderman began
physically abusing her in bed, and that it got worse
slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other,” she recalls.
“It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger
and harder.” Selvaratnam says, “It
wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was
abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”
Schneiderman was violent, he often made sexual demands. “He
was obsessed with having a threesome, and said it was my job
to find a woman,” she says. “He
said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t, and
would hit me until I agreed.” (She had no intention
of having a threesome.) She recalls, “Sometimes,
he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did.”
Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, has dark skin, and she
recalls that “he
started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I
repeat that I was ‘his property.’ ”
the abuse got worse...
"not only slapped her across the face, often four or five
times, back and forth, with his open hand; he
also spat at her and choked her. “He
was cutting off my ability to breathe,” she says.
Eventually, she says, “we could rarely have sex without him
her view, Schneiderman “is
a misogynist and a sexual sadist.” She says that she
often asked him to stop hurting her, and tried to push him away. At
other times, she gave in, rationalizing that she could
tolerate the violence if it happened only once a week or so
during sex. But “the
emotional and verbal abuse started increasing,” she
says, and “the belittling and demeaning of me carried over into
our nonsexual encounters.” He told her to get plastic surgery to
remove scars on her torso that had resulted from an operation to
remove cancerous tumors. He criticized her hair and said that
she should get breast implants and buy different clothes. He
mocked some of her friends as “ditzes,” and, when these women
attended a birthday celebration for her, he demanded that she
leave just as the cake was arriving. “I
began to feel like I was in Hell,” she
also said Schneiderman routinely "drank heavily," took sedatives,
and pushed her to drink with him.
your bourbon, Turnip” - his nickname for her. In the middle of
the night, he staggered through the apartment, as if in a
trance. “I’ve never seen anyone that messed up,” she recalls.
“It was like sleeping next to a monster.”
then came the threats...
had said he would have to kill me if we broke up, on multiple
occasions. He also told me he could have me followed and could
tap my phone,” said Selvaratnam.
in irony of all ironies...
the rest of the accusations against Schneiderman here
at The New Yorker.