May 7 (UPI) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned Monday night after several women accused him of physical abuse in a report published by the New Yorker.
“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as attorney general for the people of the State of New York,” 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.”
In the New Yorker article published on Monday, two women who were involved in romantic relationships with Schneiderman in recent years went on record to accuse New York’s top prosecutor of hitting them in the face on multiple occasions and being verbally abusive.
“The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other,” Tanya Selvaratnam, who was in a relationship with Scheiderman between 20166 and 2017, told the magazine. “It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder. It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”
Two other women, who asked to remain anonymous, also accused Schneiderman of abusive behavior. One of the women said Schneiderman slapped her across the face after she rejected his advances.
In the report, Schneiderman denied the accusations.
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” Scheiderman said. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
But the accusations were serious enough for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call for Scheiderman’s resignation just hours after the article was published.
“No one is above the law, including New York’s top legal officer,” Cuomo said in a statement. “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 serve as Attorney General.”
Less than five hours after Cuomo released that statement, Schneiderman announced his resignation.