(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to include Schneiderman’s resignation.)
A new investigation by the New Yorker reveals damning accusations against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The article, which is authored by Ronan Farrow (who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Harvey Weinstein) and Jane Mayer, includes detailed accounts of four women — two of whom went on the record — who say AG Schneiderman not only hit them and choked them in sexual encounters without their consent, but threatened to kill them if they ever left him. Schneiderman’s spokeman denied he ever made those threats.
Manning Barish, one of the accusers who went on the record with the New Yorker, recalled a night in which the two of them had been drinking and were preparing to go to bed.
“All of a sudden, [Schneiderman] just slapped me, open-handed and with great force, across the face, landing the blow directly onto my ear. It was horrendous. It just came out of nowhere. My ear was ringing. I lost my balance and fell backward onto the bed. I sprang up, but at this point there was very little room between the bed and him,” Barish told the New Yorker. “I got up to try to shove him back, or take a swing, and he pushed me back down. He then used his body weight to hold me down, and he began to choke me. The choking was very hard. It was really bad. I kicked. In every fibre, I felt I was being beaten by a man.”
Rather than apologizing to Barish for the sudden outburst of violence, Schneiderman reportedly accused Barish of scratching him, insinuating that she could be criminally charged for harming him, given his position.
“You know, hitting an officer of the law is a felony,” Schneiderman allegedly told Barish.
Eric Schneiderman — who has fashioned a brand for himself as a leading member of the anti-Trump resistance and a supporter of the #MeToo movement — also apparently fetishizes having a slave, according to former girlfriend Tanya Selvaratnam.
“[Schneiderman] was obsessed with having a threesome, and said it was my job to find a woman,” she says. “He said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t, and would hit me until I agreed.” (She had no intention of having a threesome.) She recalls, “Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did.” Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, has dark skin, and she recalls that “he started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’ “
The two started dating after meeting at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and Selvaratnam said the physical abuse gradually increased in intensity the longer their relationship continued.
“The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other,” she told the New Yorker. “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 added.
Through a spokesman, Eric Schneiderman denied the allegations. As of this writing, he has not yet resigned, nor has he addressed the investigation on his Twitter account.
(UPDATE, 5/7/18, 11:40 PM ET: Schneiderman announced his immediate resignation as Attorney General on Monday night, saying the allegations “effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”)
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.