Eric Schneiderman has resigned from his position as New York Attorney General in the wake of accusations by four women that he violently attacked them. Soon after the allegations became public, some of Schneiderman’s supporters called for him to resign from his position.
“My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as attorney general,” Andrew M. Cuomo said.
In similar fashion, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand called for Schneiderman to leave his post.
“The violent actions described by multiple women in this story are abhorrent. Based on this extensive and serious reporting, I do not believe that Eric Schneiderman should continue to serve as attorney general.”
Gillibrand also led the effort to remove Al Franken from his seat amid charges of sexual misconduct.
Schneiderman denies the charges but stated that he believes that, as a result of them, he can not effectively perform his duties as AG.
“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.”
The assault charges levied against the 63-year-old are especially shocking to many because of his involvement in the Me Too movement and years of work against domestic violence. His resignation will become effective at the end of business on May 8.
The accounts of violence described by all four women occurred in intimate situations after the consumption of alcohol. They described their alleged experiences with Eric Schneiderman to The New Yorker in a report released on Monday. They all tell of nonconsensual encounters in which they were slapped, choked, or hit while alone with the attorney general. Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam indicated that they sought medical treatment for injuries suffered at Schneiderman’s hand but did not file a police report, according to The Hill. Barish and Selvaratnam also indicated that the attorney general threatened to kill them if they ended their relationship with him.
Selvaratnam added that Schneiderman drank excessively on a regular basis and that the violence got worse as their relationship progressed.
“We could rarely have sex without him beating me.”
She added that the abuse was also mental and emotional. “He started calling me his “brown slave” and demanding that I repeat that I was “his property.” The New York Times reports that Selvaratnam also indicated that Eric Schneiderman warned her that he would have her phone tapped and have her followed.
Jennifer Cunningham, the attorney general’s ex-wife, spoke out against the allegations, saying that they do not reflect the man she knows.
“I’ve known Eric for nearly 35 years as a husband, father and friend. These allegations are completely inconsistent with the man I know, who has always been someone of the highest character, outstanding values and a loving father.”
In 2010, when Eric Schneiderman was a state senator from Manhattan, he introduced a bill to make intentional strangulation to the point of unconsciousness a felony. Also in 2010, the National Organization for Women endorsed him in his bid for attorney general. For years, Schneiderman’s office has published a brochure for victims of domestic abuse.