Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, resigned on Monday night, May 7, after a bombshell report detailing alleged his mistreatment of several women.
“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” he said in a statement online. “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.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also wrote in a statement: “No one is above the law, including New York’s top legal officer.”
“I will be asking an appropriate New York District Attorney to commence an immediate investigation, and proceed as the facts merit,” Cuomo said. “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,” he added.
His fall comes after the New Yorker on Monday reported that he was accused by women “with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters.” Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam are two women who were named in the story, and another woman told the publication about other incidents but didn’t want to speak to the magazine. A fourth woman accused him of abuse but didn’t want to be identified.
After the story broke, Manning Barish wrote on Twitter: “After the most difficult month of my life-I spoke up. For my daughter and for all women. I could not remain silent and encourage other women to be brave for me. I could not…”
Manning Barish said that she and Schneiderman had been dating for four weeks before the first incident of physical assault took place. In the incident, he slapped her “with great force … out of nowhere,” and he also choked her. She said that the violence continued for about a year.
Selvaratnam, born in Sri Lanka, also alleged that Schneiderman called her a “brown slave” and made other demeaning comments.
“He also told me he could have me followed and could tap my phone,” she said, adding that he also threatened to kill her several times.
The New Yorker reported that the women told other people about the incidents, and that those people confirmed the details.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood will serve as the state’s acting attorney general.