New York Attorney General resigns after women accuse him of physical assault
Four women spoke out against Eric Schneiderman alleging that they suffered physical abuse at the hands of the New York State attorney general. This comes at a shock for many, as the AG has long been considered an ally of feminists.
Hours after The New Yorker first published the accusations on May 7, Schneiderman resigned from his position as the top-ranking law enforcement officer in New York State. He had held this job since 2011.
The women said Schneiderman slapped, choked and threatened them during the course of their romantic relationships with the then-attorney general. One woman alleged “we could rarely have sex without him beating me.” They also alleged the abuse often occurred after Schneiderman drank heavily.
Throughout his political career, Schneiderman, a Democrat, has spoken up in support of women’s issues. When he was a New York state senator, Schneiderman wrote a law that made life-threatening strangulation a serious crime. He also became a prominent advocate of the #MeToo movement. He championed women’s rights when he brought a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein after the former film mogul was accused of decades of sexual harassment and assault.
“This is a man who has staked his entire career, his personal narrative, on being a champion for women publicly. But he abuses them privately. He needs to be called out,” said one of the women cited in The New Yorker.
In a statement, Schneiderman said, “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the claims against Schneiderman. Schneiderman is the latest political figure to resign from his position after allegations came to light during the #MeToo movement, an international campaign against sexual violence.