NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused of physically abusing four women
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, has been accused of physically abusing four women.
According to The New Yorker, which shared a Pulitzer Prize last month with The New York Times for stories about sexual harassment, each accuser alleges that Schneiderman "repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent."Advertisement
At least two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, categorized the abuse as "assault." The other two women declined to be identified because they feared reprisal, the magazine said.
Barish and Selvaratnam did not report the allegations to the police, but both said they sought medical attention after they were slapped hard across the ear and face.
They also said Schneiderman choked them.
Selvaratnam said Schneiderman followed up the abuse with threats, telling her that he could have her followed and have her phones tapped.
Barish and Selvaratnam both said he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him.
A Schneiderman representative told The New Yorker that the attorney general "never made any of these threats."
Schneiderman, in a statement to the magazine, denied any wrongdoing.
"In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity," Schneiderman said. "I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross."
Schneiderman, who is divorced, was one of the most outspoken public officials as the walls caved in on Hollywood honcho Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused by dozens of women of r ape and sexual assault.
"We have never seen anything as despicable as what we've seen right here," Schneiderman said after filing a civil rights suit against Weinstein.
Barish, who was romantically involved with Schneiderman from the summer of 2013 until New Year's Day in 2015, said she was outraged by the hypocrisy.
"You cannot be a champion of women when you are hitting them and choking them in bed, and saying to them, 'You're a f-----g whore.' " Barish told the magazine. "How can you put a perpetrator in charge of the country's most important sexual-assault case?"
She said she could no longer stay silent.
"After the most difficult month of my life-I spoke up," Barish wrote in a tweet. "For my daughter and for all women. I could not remain silent and encourage other women to be brave for me. I could not."Advertisement
Selvaratnam said the abuse was not consensual.
"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."
In the midst of the violence, she said, Schneiderman made sexual demands.
"He 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 said she did not agree to a threesome.
"Sometimes, he'd tell me to call him Master, and he'd slap me until I did," said Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, and has dark skin.
"He started calling me his 'brown slave' and demanding that I repeat that I was 'his property.' "
She also said Schneiderman drank a lot and took sedatives.
Schneiderman's ex-wife, political consultant, Jennifer Cunningham, came to the attorney general's defense.
"I've known Eric for nearly 35 years as a husband, father and friend," Cunningham said in a statement.
"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."
A source close to Schneiderman said there was no immediate talk of him resigning or not running for re-election in the fall. "We're taking this one step at a time," the source said.
When The New Yorker and the Times won a Pulitzer Prize last month, Schneiderman was one of the first to go online with a congratulatory comment.Source: Google News