Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
In the age of President Donald Trump, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been a prominent figure in the resistance. He has frequently challenged the administration’s most controversial moves in court, and he threw his weight behind the women coming forward as a part of the #MeToo movement and even stood up to Harvey Weinstein.
But on Monday night, the New Yorker revealed that Schneiderman’s mantle as a champion for liberals and women appears underserved: Four women, including two who spoke on the record with the magazine, have made credible allegations of physical abuse against the attorney general.
After the allegations were published, Gov. Andrew Cuomo — also a Democrat — called on Schneiderman to resign. Shortly thereafter, Schneiderman announced his resignation.
“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York,” he said in a statement. “In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. 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. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on [Tuesday].”
Schneiderman denied the accusations in a statement to the magazine, but the stories are consistent with one another and, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow report, some of their claims are backed up by documentary evidence.
Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam are the two women who spoke on the record. They both were previously romantically involved with Schneiderman, according to the report, and they say he slapped and choked them without their consent. Both say they went to the hospital because of his abuse and that he threatened to kill them if they left.
Another woman who was not named told the magazine that she suffered similar abuse while in a relationship with Schneiderman, and a fourth woman said he slapped her forcefully after she rejected his advances.
In a statement, Schneiderman said, “I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity” but that he has “never assaulted anybody.” The statements from the women are clear, however, in saying that there was nothing consensual about the abuse they received.
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.