New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who reached national prominence for his support of the #MeToo movement, going so far as to use his authority to take legal action against Harvey Weinstein, even demanding greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes, now finds himself at the heart of his own alleged sexual misconduct allegations.
The New Yorker on Monday reported that four women claim that Schneiderman, was abusive both mentally and physically as well as emotionally during their romantic relationships.
The two women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvartnam, spoke on the record with The New Yorker because they feel doing so could protect other women. They are described as progressive Democratic feminists in their forties who live in Manhattan, neither have met or spoken with each other, according to The New Yorker.
While the two women may have not met or spoken, they both paint an eerily similar bleak picture of their romantic relationship with Schneiderman.
Manning Barish dated Schneiderman from the summer of 2013 until New Year’s Day 2015, she tells The New Yorker, that it was shortly after they became physically involved that he grew violent:
“All of a sudden, he just slapped me, open-handed and with great force, across the face, landing the blow directly onto my ear,” Manning Barish says. “It was horrendous. It just came out of nowhere. My ear was ringing.
She continues to explain there was a struggle until she finally freed herself, crying and in shock leaving the apartment shortly after the incident:
telling him that she would never come back. “I want to make it absolutely clear,” she says. “This was under no circumstances a sex game gone wrong. This did not happen while we were having sex. I was fully dressed and remained that way. It was completely unexpected and shocking. I did not consent to physical assault.”
Manning Barish and Schneiderman did get back together dating on and off until she ended the relationship in January 2015.
Tanya Selvartnam dated Schneiderman from the summer of 2016 until the fall of 2017. The two met at the Democratic National Convention. Selvartnam told The New Yorker, that when the met it felt “like kismet.” The two began dating, she attending political functions and dinners with his friends and donors, and all, but living in his apartment, where she said, they’d brainstorm together on his upcoming speeches or projects. Selvartnam told The New Yorker, that while Schneiderman did dote on her, he started to demand that she spend more of her time with him and he began to physically abuse her in bed:
“The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other,” she recalls. “It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder.” Selvaratnam says, “It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”
As their relationship progressed she told The New Yorker that he became obsessed with having a threesome and told her, it was her job to find the woman:
“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.’ ”
Both women claim that Schneiderman is an alcoholic drinking almost nightly, two bottles of wine and a half to a full bottle of scotch.
Eric Schneiderman is divorced and has one grown daughter, his ex-wife Jennifer Cunningham, a lobbyist and political strategist currently serves as of of his political consultants, issued a statement shortly after The New Yorker published the story online:
“I’ve known Eric for nearly thirty-five years as a husband, father, and friend. These allegations are completely inconsistent with the man I know, who has always been someone of the highest character, outstanding values, and a loving father. I find it impossible to believe these allegations are true.”)
Three hours after The New Yorker published the story New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned:
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,” he said in a statement. “I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”