The Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday morning that it was opening a criminal investigation into allegations of physical abuse against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman by four women who had romantic relationships or encounters with him.
Schneiderman resigned Monday night within hours of an exposé in The New Yorker detailing the four women’s accounts – a swift and shocking fall for a Democrat who brought charges against Harvey Weinstein in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and ane point was thought to be President Trump’s eventual downfall.
The four women went on the record, accusing Schneiderman of choking, hitting and threatening them during brutal, alcohol-fueled sexual assaults – which they say were not consensual. While neither woman filed any police complaints, both said they sought out medical attention and confided in people close to them about the abuse.
Sometimes in bed, she recalls, he would be “shaking me and grabbing my face” while demanding that she repeat such things as “I’m a little whore.” She says that he also told her, “If you ever left me, I’d kill you.”
She recalls screaming in surprise and pain, and beginning to cry, and says that she felt frightened. She has asked to remain unidentified, but shared a photograph of the injury with The New Yorker.
“It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.” –The New Yorker
Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said on late Monday that prosecutors would be investigating the claims.
Schneiderman, 63, told the New Yorker that “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.”
However after fellow New York Democrats, including Gov. Andro Cuomo and U.S. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand called for his resignation, he resigned immediately.
“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” he said in a statement late Monday. “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.” He said he would resign at the close of business on Tuesday.
In the interim, State Solicitor Genera, Barbara Underwood will serve as acting Attorney General.