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Eric Tradd Schneiderman (born December 31, 1954) is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 65th Attorney General of New York from 2011 until his resignation in May 2018. Schneiderman, a member of the Democratic Party, previously served for ten years in the New York State Senate.
In May 2018, Schneiderman resigned his position as Attorney General after The New Yorker reported that four women––including three former romantic partners––had accused him of sexual and physical abuse.
On May 7, 2018, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow reported in The New Yorker that Schneiderman had physically abused at least four women during his tenure as Attorney General. According to the report, Schneiderman had, between about 2013 and 2016, committed acts of violence against four women: the blogger and activist Michelle Manning Barish, the author and actress Tanya Selvaratnam, an unnamed female lawyer, and a fourth woman. The women said that Schneiderman had repeatedly choked, hit or violently slapped them, all without their consent. Selvaratnam added that Schneiderman spat on her, choked her, called her his "brown slave", ordered her to call him "Master" and say that she was "his property", and demanded that she find another woman who would be willing to engage in a 'ménage à trois' Mayer and Farrow reported that they confirmed the women's allegations with photographs of wounds and bruises, as well as with statements from friends in whom the women had confided after the assaults.
In his initial response to the allegations, Schneiderman said: "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". Three hours after the article was published in The New Yorker, Schneiderman announced his resignation effective the next day. In a statement, he said that he "strongly contested" the allegations, but resigned because they would "effectively prevent" him from performing the duties of his office. He did not seek re-election. Schneiderman's deputy, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, assumed the position of Acting Attorney General.
Governor Andrew Cuomo assigned Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal charges against Schneiderman. On November 8, 2018, Singas announced that Schneiderman would not be prosecuted. Singas stated that she believed the allegations made by Schneiderman's accusers, but added that "legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude[d] criminal prosecution". In response, Schneiderman stated, "I recognize that District Attorney Singas’ decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong. I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them." Schneiderman further stated that he was "committed to a lifelong path of recovery and making amends" and apologized for the pain he had caused.