Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, Resigns Amid Assault Accusations

Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, had assumed a prominent role in the #MeToo movement.CreditDrew Angerer/Getty Images

Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York State attorney general who rose to prominence as an antagonist of the Trump administration, abruptly resigned on Monday night hours after The New Yorker reported that four women had accused him of physically assaulting them.

“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as attorney general for the people of the State of New York,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement. “In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me.

“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.”

His resignation represented a stunning fall for a politician who had also assumed a prominent role in the #MeToo movement.

Two of the women who spoke to the magazine, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, said they had been choked and hit repeatedly by Mr. Schneiderman. Both said they had sought medical treatment. Another woman, a lawyer, said she was slapped violently across the face. A fourth woman also said she had similar experiences.

All the women in the article, who had been romantically involved with Mr. Schneiderman, said the violence was not consensual.

Mr. Schneiderman, 63, denied abusing the women, saying in a statement: “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.”

But not long after the allegations were made public, many of his allies, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who like Mr. Schneiderman is a Democrat, called for him to step down.

“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,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The New York Times, by Danny Hakim and Vivian Wang