New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced his resignation late Monday night, hours after he was accused of physically abusing four women in an article published by the New Yorker.
Schneiderman said he continued to “strongly contest” the allegations, which included women saying that he choked and slapped them, but felt they would prevent him from his work as the top law enforcement official in New York state.
“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” he said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Two women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, spoke to the magazine on the record, and said that they were in romantic relationships with Schneiderman when he choked and slapped them, leading them to seek medical treatment.
Selvaratnam said that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped. Both women said he threatened to kill them if they ended their relationships with him, according to the magazine’s story. Schneiderman’s spokesperson told the magazine that he “never made any of those these threats.”
A third woman made similar accusations of nonconsensual physical violence, and a fourth, an attorney who has held high positions in the New York legal sphere, told the New Yorker that after she rejected one of Schneiderman’s advances, he “slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day.” All four women said their physical abuse was not consensual.
Schneiderman quickly denied assaulting the women, and in a statement on Twitter said: “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.”