Eric Schneiderman has resigned as New York State Attorney General in the wake of damaging allegations of physical abuse published by The New Yorker.
Schneiderman said the allegations, which he strongly contests, make it impossible to continue as the state’s leading law enforcement officer.
“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,” Schneiderman said. “I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”
Four women accused Schneiderman of abusing them while in romantic relationships, but had been reluctant to speak out for fear of reprisals. Two of the women who spoke on the record alleged the state’s top law enforcement official had repeatedly hit them, often after drinking. Although they did report the incidents to police at the time, they nonetheless sought medical treatment.
Schneiderman had built a reputation as a champion of women’s rights, and emerged as prominent voice in the #MeToo movement. Indeed, he has used his office to take legal action against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, and demand that his studio compensate women who were victims of his alleged sexual misconduct.
“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*cking whore,’ ” said Michelle Manning Barish, one of Scheiderman’s former romantic partners.
A gathering chorus of voices have been quick to demand his resignation, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.