Tanya speaks in her own words here: What Happened After I Shared My Story of Abuse by New York’s Attorney General, in the New York Times, Oct 6, 2019
Ms. Selvaratnam is a multi-accomplished professional:
- She’s the author of the 2014 book, “The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism and the Reality of the Biological Clock” as well as the forthcoming Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence.
- She’s produced numerous film projects, including the Emmy-nominated Born To Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity and is also an actor
- In 2016, she was a video producer for Gays Against Guns, formed in response to the Pulse nightclub massacre.
- Her activism and civic contributions since the mid 90’s have included everything from The Ms. Foundation to the World Health Organization to a benefit titled Artists for Tsunami Relief, in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
She is also a woman who spent a year in a physically and psychologically abusive romantic partnership with Eric Schneiderman.
Selvaratnam met Schneiderman at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 2016, after which she began dating him. They were together through the fall of 2017, during which time he routinely abused her, both physically and emotionally, according to reporting by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker in May of 2018.
He says they almost never had sex without him beating her. He would slap her, choke her, spit on her. He demanded that she have scars removed. He called her his “brown slave.” He routinely drank more than a bottle of wine a night, and took sedatives. He forced her to drink with him. He threatened to tap her phone. He told her multiple times that if they broke up, he would kill her.
She suffered from hearing loss and vertigo and after the breakup, sought treatment. No specific cause of her conditions was determined by the doctor.
To explain how she stayed in such an abusive relationship for a year, she says, “Now I see how independent women get stuck in one. [The physical abuse] happens quickly. He’s drunk, and you’re naked and at your most vulnerable. It’s so disorienting. You lose a little of who you are.”
She calls Schneiderman a Jekyll and Hyde character, saying he champions women in public but abuses them in private.
She had no intention of coming forward until – through a network of mutual friends – she learned of another woman who had been abused by Schneiderman. That is the woman described as Anonymous Accuser #2 in the Mayer & Farrow New Yorker piece.