New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned on Monday after allegations of physical abuse by four women, including a Sri Lankan born Harvard-educated activist writer, the New Yorker magazine reported.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had called for Schneiderman’s resignation within hours of the article’s publication, and only slightly more than an hour later Schneiderman, a Democrat who was running for re-election, said he was stepping down.
“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “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 May 8, 2018.”
The New Yorker also reported that four women who said they had had romantic relationships or encounters with Schneiderman said they had been subjected to nonconsensual physical violence.
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” Schneiderman said in a statement issued by Stu Loeser& Co before he announced his resignation. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
The New Yorker reported that two of the women who spoke to the magazine “alleged that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent.”
Schneiderman, a Harvard-educated lawyer, has been New York State’s attorney general since late 2010. He has been a high-profile proponent of the #MeToo movement, which has seen accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against prominent men in politics, media, entertainment and business. They include Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
One of the victims, Harvard-educated activist writer Tanya Selvaratnam told the New Yorker magazine that her yearlong affair with Schneiderman “was a fairytale that became a nightmare” — and quickly escalated into violence in the bedroom, even as he begged for threesomes.
“Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did,” Selvaratnam said.
“He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’”
Selvaratnam said, “The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other.
“It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder. It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”
She said that as the violence grew, so did his sexual demands.
“He was obsessed with having a threesome and said it was my job to find a woman,” Selvaratnam said. “He said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t and would hit me until I agreed.”
The abuse increased until Schneiderman was not only slapping her but spitting on her and choking her, she said.
“He was cutting off my ability to breathe,” she said.
Soon, “we could rarely have sex without him beating me.”
The attorney general was often fueled by booze, Selvaratnam said.
And he would push her to drink, too, she said.
A friend finally helped her leave him, Selvaratnam said.
NY state AG Eric Schneiderman