In a New Yorker article published on Monday, four women accused Schneiderman of misconduct that included slapping and choking them.
“The violent actions described by multiple women in this story are abhorrent,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Monday. “Based on this extensive and serious reporting, I do not believe that Eric Schneiderman should continue to serve as Attorney General. There should be a full and immediate investigation into these credible allegations.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he would be asking an “appropriate” district attorney to begin an investigation into the allegations.
“No one is above the law, including New York’s top legal officer,” Cuomo said in a statement calling for Schneiderman to resign.
Late Monday, shortly after the report came out, Schneiderman resigned.
“It has 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. “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.”
Two women who dated Schneiderman between 2013 and 2017, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, told the New Yorker that Schneiderman had “repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent.” Manning Barish said that at one point Schneiderman had told her that “if you ever left me, I’d kill you.”
Schneiderman denied any assault took place.
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” he said in a statement. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is I line I would not cross.”
Throughout his career ― as New York state senator from 1998 to 2010 and later as state attorney general ― Schneiderman had been known as a champion of women. In recent months, he’d been a vocal supporter of the Me Too movement against sexual abuse, with his office filing a suit against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein over sexual misconduct.
This story has been updated with news of Schneiderman’s resignation.
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