New York’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman stands accused of allegedly committing physical violence against four women, two of whom have identified themselves on record. Writing in The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow, one of the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinsten scandal, and a co-author, published the allegations against Schneiderman tonight.
Schneiderman’s office is currently suing disgraced movie mogul Weinstein on behalf of victims in the sexual harassment scandal.
[See Updates below]
In the detailed expose, The New Yorker describes Schneiderman, 63, as a champion of the #MeToo movement and an activist for feminist causes who has received repeated praise from women’s groups.
“As [Schneiderman’s] prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All 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.”
The New Yorker continued its report about the assault claims leveled against the attorney general, New York state’s top law-enforcement official.
“A third former romantic partner of Schneiderman’s told Manning Barish and Selvaratnam that he also repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence, but she told them that she is too frightened of him to come forward. A fourth woman, an attorney who has held prominent positions in the New York legal community, says that Schneiderman made an advance toward her; when she rebuffed him, he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day.”
Schneiderman’s activities allegedly included a racially charged component.
“[Selvaratnam] 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.'”
Schneiderman is a high-profile Democrat who has feuded with President Trump on various issues, including suing the administration over its plan to obtain citizenship information in the 2020 census. He also has urged New York’s legislators to pass a bill that would shut down a loophole for those receiving a federal pardon that could otherwise enable them to avoid state criminal charges. This may be in the context of the Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen federal criminal litigation.
“[Schneiderman’s] emotional state seemed to worsen after the 2016 Presidential election. He had counted on forging an ambitious partnership with a White House led by Hillary Clinton. Instead, the Presidency had gone to Donald Trump,” The New Yorker recalled.
In a statement to The New Yorker, Schneiderman denied ever assaulting anyone or engaging in nonconsensual intimate relationships. He did admit to “role-playing,” however.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Eric Schneiderman first won election as the Empire State’s attorney general in 2010 and was reelected four years later. Prior to that, he was a state senator for 10 years, representing Manhattan’s wealthy upper west side.
As the allegations of physical violence by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman constitute a breaking, developing story, please check back for updates.
Update: Schneiderman resigns
According to the New York Times, Eric Schneiderman has resigned as New York’s attorney general effective at the close of business tomorrow. “”While 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,” he said.
“His resignation represented a stunning fall for a politician who had not only turned his office into a bulwark of resistance against President Trump, but also assumed a prominent role in the #MeToo movement,” the Times added about soon-to-be-ex New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The Manhattan District Attoney has reportedly opened a criminal investigation into the allegations about ex-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.