Eric Schneiderman

Name: Eric Schneiderman

Age: 63 (in 2018)

Role: Attorney General of New York, Democrat

Accusations: 4 women, including Tanya Selvaratnam and Michelle Manning Barish, say Schneiderman attacked them with physical violence, in the course of consensual sexual relationships.

To hear from his accusers in their own words, either click the links above or scroll down to the Accusers tab.

According to the women, Schneiderman was also emotionally and psychologically abusive, routinely demeaning and humiliating them as a means of controlling them. Excessive alcohol consumption contributed to Schneiderman’s behavior. He also made physical threats of violence against them, including threatening to kill at least one, if she broke up with him.

Immediate Consequences: Schneiderman resigned within hours of the publication of the accusations in The New Yorker (see the link in Big Picture, below). Numerous criminal investigations were undertaken within the week, first by New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance and then by a special prosecutor appointed by Governor Cuomo.

Schneiderman’s Initial Response: Schneiderman initially insisted that the abusive behavior was something the women had consented to, as part of their sexual play.

Schneiderman released a statement upon his resignation: “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.”

Schneiderman’s Evolving Response: Schneiderman reportedly checked into rehab and began studying meditation. He has publicly taken responsibility and said he’s sorry; but neither Tanya Selvaratnam or Michelle Manning Barish have received a personal apology. Scroll down for more detailed updated stories.

Click The Tabs To Read More

Eric Schneiderman was a darling of the progressive left. He routinely attacked Donald Trump and has filed suit against Harvey Weinstein. He was a public champion of all kinds of women's rights and women's advocacy causes and organizations.

This made it all the more shocking when Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow published a story describing how he routinely beat and psychologically abused women he was romantically involved with.
Four Women Accuse New York's Attorney General of Physical Abuse, The New Yorker, May 7, 2018, by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow

Within hours of its publication, Schneiderman had resigned from his job as the Attorney General of New York. Eric Schneiderman Resigns As New York Attorney General Amid Assault Claims by 4 Women, New York Times, May 7, 2018, by Danny Hakim and Vivian Wang

Michelle Manning Barish

Learn more about her here, including listening to her speak for herself in an interview with Norah O'Donnell on CBS This Morning. In it, she shares that she didn't think she had a #MeToo story to tell, until after she saw the black eye of Colbie Holderness, one of the two ex-wives of Trump Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

Tanya Selvaratnam

Learn more about her here, including the story she wrote for The New York Times about the aftermath of making a public accusation against Eric Schneiderman.

Accusers 3 and 4, both anonymous

Two of Schneiderman's accusers have asked to remain anonymous out of fear. Scroll down or click on the New Yorker story to read their stories.

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As reported in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow in May 2018, four women accused Eric Schneiderman of violent physical assault in the course of consensual romantic relationships with him. His violence most often accompanied extremely heavy drinking and use of pills.

All 4 also accuse Schneiderman of a litany of demeaning and controlling behavior: mocking their accomplishments, berating their friends, telling them how to dress, demanding that they lose weight or get a boob job or remove a scar. The description of it in Mayer & Farrow's reporting is compelling.

Another woman, Jess McIntosh, published a first-person account in Elle of a harrowing date with Schneiderman that had taken place years before. Her story came out on May 31, 3 weeks after the New Yorker piece. It doesn't allege assault, exactly. But rather that he wheedled a business meeting into a date at a romantic restaurant; liquored her up on 2 bottles of expensive wine; and then lunged at her in the car in front of the house she lived in with her boyfriend, in such a way that she ended up breaking her strand of pearls as she disentangled herself from him.

Two of Schneiderman's accusers have asked to remain anonymous out of fear.

Anonymous Accuser #1, an attorney

The third accuser (who's asked to remain anonymous) met Schneiderman in the summer of 2016 at a party in the Hamptons where he'd been drinking heavily. He lured her on false pretenses to the house where he was staying, where they began to make out. He said, "I know that at heart you are a dirty little slut. You want to be my whore," and other demeaning remarks. She recoiled and he hit her hard across the face, twice. She screamed and started to cry, demanding to leave. He drove her home, despite being so drunk his car was weaving all over the road.

She took photographs of the mark his hand had left on her face, and sent them to numerous friends who corroborated her story for the New Yorker piece. She never spoke to Schneiderman again, nor did she report it. She justified it because of the "good work" he was doing in his public life.

Anonymous Accuser #2

Tanya Selvaratnam heard through mutual acquaintances that another ex-girlfriend of Schneiderman's had been abused too, so she reached out to her and the two began a conversation. This woman confirmed to the New Yorker that while she's too frightened to come forward publicly, she had similarly abusive experiences while dating Schneiderman. He slapped her and spit on her during sex and at other times. He criticized his weight. He demeaned her friends.
Eric Schneiderman resigned as New York's Attorney General hours after the allegations against him became public.

It was decided in November, 6 months after the investigations began, that Schneiderman would not be criminally charged for any of his actions, due to "legal loopholes".
Eric Schneiderman Won't Face Criminal Charges Over Allegations of Abuse, NPR, Nov 8, 2018, by Camila Domonoske

Updates & Developments:

November 2018: the Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Signas announced she would be unable to criminally prosecute Schneiderman, due to “gaps in the law,” including statues of limitations.

Schneiderman responded with a statement: “I recognize that District Attorney Singas’ decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong. I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them. After spending time in a rehab facility, I am committed to a lifelong path of recovery and making amends to those I have harmed.” He has not as of this point apologized to either Ms. Selvaratnam or Ms. Barish personally.

November 2018: The National Organization for Women issued a demand and circulated a public petition that Schneiderman donate the $9 million remaining in his now-defunct re-election fund to organizations that support survivors and seek to end intimate partner abuse. “Mr Schniederman has an opportunity to give back to the community that he’s hurt. He was elected. We trusted him,” chapter president Sonia Ossorio said.

January 2019: Schneiderman completes a training program through The Path, a meditation center in New York, to become a meditation teacher. CBS News

February 2019: According to CBS-6 Albany, Schneiderman’s campaign war chest has dwindled to $6.4 million, after returning almost $1 million to donors and paying $300,000 in legal fees. While the campaign has said they would “donate the remaining funds to worthy and appropriate causes once they’ve honored their commitments,” others are skeptical that Schneiderman intends to retain the money for self-serving reasons. “The campaign contributions have often become sort of a honey pot for get out of jail free cards,” says Blair Horner, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

May 2019: New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) proposes legislation to close the loopholes that allowed Schneiderman to evade prosecution. Under current state law, the act of slapping, striking or kicking an individual without their consent can only be charged if the perp’s intent was to “alarm, harass or annoy” or if there is proof of physical injury. The bill would establish a misdemeanor crime for acts of domestic violence “committed for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.” New York Post

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