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.” -The New Yorker
Disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman won't face charges after the prosecutor assigned to the case decided to close it following an "exhaustive review."
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced her decision Thursday after interviewing four women who had romantic relationships or encounters with him - concluding that "legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution."
After establishing himself as a prominent fixture in the #MeToo movement, Schniederman resigned following a report in The New Yorker in which four women accused him of choking, hitting, and threatening them during brutal, alcohol-fueled sexual assaults.
Two of Schneiderman's accusers did not reveal their identities, while the other two, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have come forward in full. All four accuse the New York Attorney General of heinous and abusive sexual assaults - along with threats, mental abuse, and stealing prescription medication.
All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked. Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he “never made any of these threats.”) -The New Yorker
One of the anonymous accusers said Schneiderman told "repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence," but was too afraid to come forward. The fourth woman - a prominent New York attorney, says that Schneiderman slapped her across the face and left a mark after she rebuffed his advances.
The other Schneiderman accuser who revealed her name, Tanya Selvaratnam - a feminist author, actor and film producer, says that she met Schneiderman at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. After they began dating, "it was a fairy tale that became a nightmare," as Selvaratnam says Schneiderman began physically abusing her in bed, and that it got worse over time.
“The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other,” she recalls. “It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder.” Selvaratnam says, “It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”
When Schneiderman was violent, he often made sexual demands. “He was obsessed with having a threesome, and said it was my job to find a woman,” she says. “He said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t, and would hit me until I agreed.” (She had no intention of having a threesome.) She recalls, “Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did.” Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, has dark skin, and she recalls that “he started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’ ”
Then, the abuse got worse...
Schneiderman "not only slapped her across the face, often four or five times, back and forth, with his open hand; he also spat at her and choked her. "He was cutting off my ability to breathe," she says. Eventually, she says, "we could rarely have sex without him beating me."
In her view, Schneiderman “is a misogynist and a sexual sadist.” She says that she often asked him to stop hurting her, and tried to push him away. At other times, she gave in, rationalizing that she could tolerate the violence if it happened only once a week or so during sex. But “the emotional and verbal abuse started increasing,” she says, and “the belittling and demeaning of me carried over into our nonsexual encounters.” He told her to get plastic surgery to remove scars on her torso that had resulted from an operation to remove cancerous tumors. He criticized her hair and said that she should get breast implants and buy different clothes. He mocked some of her friends as “ditzes,” and, when these women attended a birthday celebration for her, he demanded that she leave just as the cake was arriving. “I began to feel like I was in Hell,” she says.
Selvaratnam also said Schneiderman routinely "drank heavily," took sedatives, and pushed her to drink with him.
“Drink your bourbon, Turnip” - his nickname for her. In the middle of the night, he staggered through the apartment, as if in a trance. “I’ve never seen anyone that messed up,” she recalls. “It was like sleeping next to a monster.”
And then came the alleged threats...
"He had said he would have to kill me if we broke up, on multiple occasions. He also told me he could have me followed and could tap my phone,” said Selvaratnam.
Despite the allegations, Schneiderman won't face prosecution.