New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the first to prosecute a big name in the #MeToo era, is now facing his own moment of suspicion.
Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow broke the story for The New Yorker:
Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked. Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him.
The details of the accusations are disturbing, to say the least.
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 rape 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?”
Reaction has been swift, and has ranged from AG Schneiderman outwards:
BREAKING: Cuomo says “My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as Attorney General, and for the good of the office, he should resign.” pic.twitter.com/41lxZKWB7p
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) May 8, 2018
Complicating matters is the fact that Schneiderman has been investigating the Manhattan DA Cy Vance over Vance’s decision to not prosecute Harvey Weinstein. Seems like putting Vance in charge of the Schneiderman investigation would be a problem. All sorts of conflicts. https://t.co/bFkoM9p87v
— Grace Rauh (@gracerauh) May 8, 2018
Good time to reread the pressure Cuomo put on Manhattan DA act Vance, via Schneiderman, after the Weinstein scandal broke and the decision not to prosecute in 2015. https://t.co/Yhwv5TlcaV
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) May 8, 2018
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) May 8, 2018
5. Trump and Schneiderman have had a long running feud. pic.twitter.com/xYNNI9kZkK
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) May 7, 2018
And one last important note as this story goes along, about one of the people responsible for breaking it:
Also, remember when we all treated Ronan Farrow as a joke, a celeb-kid farcically promoted to a national TV show because of his name?
Yeah, guy’s been eating everyone else’s lunch on this beat for a year now.
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) May 7, 2018
*Update 09:50 EST 7MAY18*
NY AG resigns pic.twitter.com/DZ31H4qSIC
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 8, 2018
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