The fact of a powerful man being accused of sexual misconduct is not, at this stage, all that unusual—though the details of the accusations against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were nauseating.
What was unusual was the speed with which he resigned. Just three hours elapsed from the moment The New Yorker published an article detailing allegations of abuse by former romantic partners until Schneiderman, a Democrat, announced he was leaving office. He offered a terse statement denying the claims, but added, “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.”
The women described Schneiderman repeatedly hitting and verbally abusing them. One woman, Michelle Manning Barish,
says that when they had sex he often slapped her across the face without her consent, and that she felt “emotionally battered” by cruel remarks that he made. She says that he criticized how she looked and dressed, and “controlled what I ate.” Manning Barish, who is five feet seven, lost thirty pounds, falling to a hundred and three. In a photograph from the period, she looks emaciated; her hair, she recalls, started to fall out. Nevertheless, he squeezed her legs and called them “chubby.”
Another woman says Schneiderman brought her home from a party and told her successful women secretly wanted men to take charge during sex. As his talk became more aggressive, she pulled away. Then he slapped her twice, she said.