- Thomson Reuters
- A harrowing report from The New Yorker contains graphic details of former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s alleged physical abuse of past romantic partners.
- One former ex-girlfriend said: “Taking a strong woman and tearing her to pieces is his jam.”
- He denied the accusations, and resigned Monday night.
The New Yorker published a harrowing report Monday night that detailed allegations of physical abuse from four women against former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned three hours later.
Two of Schneiderman’s ex-girlfriends, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, spoke on the record to detail their relationships, saying he repeatedly hit, berated, and sought to control them while publicly championing causes against sexual harassment. The two other women chose to stay anonymous, and told similar stories.
Both named women detailed a gradual increase in Schneiderman’s physical abuse, saying it usually happened during sex after he had drunk excessively, and that they both had to seek medical help from ear, nose, and throat specialists because of the alleged abuse.
“Taking a strong woman and tearing her to pieces is his jam,” Manning Barish told The New Yorker.
‘A fairy tale that became a nightmare’
As their relationship went on, Manning Barish said non-consensual slapping and hitting became more common, and that his violence was in complete contrast to his progressive public image she had liked.
Like Manning Barish, feminist author and producer Selvaratnam described her relationship with Schneiderman as “a fairy tale that became a nightmare” after he began physically abusing in bed more often, which she said crossed the line from sexual playacting to “abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”
She called Schneiderman “a misogynist and a sexual sadist.” Selvaratnam questioned: “What do you do if your abuser is the top law-enforcement official in the state?”
‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’
- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
While Schneiderman’s office publicly admonished and filed a civil rights suit against disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein for multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against him, both of Schneiderman’s named accusers said they were disturbed that such an allegedly violent private abuser had gained prominence fighting a now-public abuser.
“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—ing w—e’,” Manning Barish said.
Both women described Schneiderman’s behavior as fueled by very heavy drinking that turned him from a public champion for women to a private “monster.” Selvaratnam also labeled him a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” figure, and Manning Barish said he was “absolutely plastered five nights out of seven.”
When the women wouldn’t keep up with Schneiderman’s allegedly heavy drinking, they said he would take control by pressuring them to drink. Manning Barish said he would physically force the glass to her mouth like she was “a baby who wouldn’t eat its food … spilling it down my chin and on my chest.”
Both women also said Schneiderman’s abuse targeted their physical appearances.
Manning Barish said felt “emotionally battered” and dropped 37 pounds after Schneiderman started “controlling what I ate” but continued to call her “chubby.” Selvaratnam said Schneiderman berated her to get plastic surgery, breast implants, and a new wardrobe.
Both women said Schneiderman threatened to kill them if they broke up with him. Schneiderman’s spokesman denied the threats.
After the report, Schneiderman issued a statement announcing his resignation and denying the allegations.
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” he said. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”