A sobering reminder tonight that it's not just high-profile Republicans who have been exposed by reporting and the #MeToo movemnet, but multiple Democrats and Democratic party donors as well.
Of course, Harvey Weinstein was the tip of the iceberg, and Minnesota Sen. Al Franken resigned in disgrace, but it seems overdue justice has now come for New York's Attorney General, Eric Schniederman.
At least four women have come forward detailing physical sexual assault by Schniederman. He claims it was consensual roleplay, but what the women coming forward to Ronan Farrow and the New Yorker are describing is nothing short of sadism, and there was nothing consensual about it.
Manning Barish says that she fell quickly for Schneiderman and was happy to be involved with someone who seemed to share her progressive idealism and enjoy her feistiness. Page Six chronicled the romance, calling her a “ravishing redhead” and noting that, at a fund-raiser, the television producer Norman Lear had introduced her as Schneiderman’s “bride-to-be.”
But Manning Barish began to see signs of controlling and abusive behavior. Soon after she started dating Schneiderman, he told her to remove a small tattoo from her wrist; it wasn’t appropriate, he said, if she were to become the wife of a politician. The process of having it removed was painful and expensive. In retrospect, she says, it was the first step in trying to control her body. “Taking a strong woman and tearing her to pieces is his jam,” she says.
About four weeks after they became physically involved, she says, Schneiderman grew violent. One night, they were in the bedroom of his Upper West Side apartment, still clothed but getting ready for bed, and lightly baiting each other. As she recalls it, he called her “a whore,” and she talked back. They had both been drinking, and her recollection of their conversation is blurry, but what happened next remains vivid. Schneiderman, she says, backed her up to the edge of his bed. “All of a sudden, he just slapped me, open-handed and with great force, across the face, landing the blow directly onto my ear,” Manning Barish says. “It was horrendous. It just came out of nowhere. My ear was ringing. I lost my balance and fell backward onto the bed. I sprang up, but at this point there was very little room between the bed and him. I got up to try to shove him back, or take a swing, and he pushed me back down. He then used his body weight to hold me down, and he began to choke me. The choking was very hard. It was really bad. I kicked. In every fibre, I felt I was being beaten by a man.”
She finally freed herself and got back on her feet. “I was crying and in shock,” she says. She recalls shouting, “Are you crazy?” To her astonishment, Schneiderman accused her of scratching him. At one point—she can’t remember if it was at this moment or in a later conversation—he told her, “You know, hitting an officer of the law is a felony.”
After the incident, Manning Barish left the apartment, telling him that she would never come back. “I want to make it absolutely clear,” she says. “This was under no circumstances a sex game gone wrong. This did not happen while we were having sex. I was fully dressed and remained that way. It was completely unexpected and shocking. I did not consent to physical assault.”
Again, two of the four women are 100% going on record with their identities to accuse Schneiderman, and their storeis are very similar. Schnierderman would hit women because he believed they liked it.
Tanya Selvaratnam is the author of “The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock,” which explores infertility issues; she is also an actor and a film producer, as well as a supporter of feminist and progressive social causes. She, too, is divorced. In 2016, she attended the Democratic National Convention, in Philadelphia, where Schneiderman introduced himself to her. She says that their first encounter felt “like kismet.” They had both gone to Harvard: she as an undergraduate and a graduate student, he as a law student. She was impressed when he expressed an interest in meditation and Buddhism. They had both studied Chinese, and, when he asked, in Mandarin, if she spoke the language, she answered, “Wo shuo keshi bu tai liuli”—“Yes, but not fluently.”
They began dating, and appeared to be a happy couple. Selvaratnam all but lived in his apartment, attending political functions and dinners with his friends and donors, and brainstorming with him on speeches and projects. But, as she puts it, “it was a fairy tale that became a nightmare.” Although Schneiderman often doted on her, he demanded that she spend more and more time with him, and he began physically abusing her in bed. “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.’ ”
The abuse escalated. 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.
This guy is an abuser, point blank. If this is true, and there's every reason to believe it is, then he needs to go. I don't care how much of a crusader for justice he is if he's an abusive law-breaking jackass who needs to cool his heels in prison for a while. Nothing justifies this in the short or long run.
And as expected, he has resigned.
Schneiderman Resigns. pic.twitter.com/OVm2oXVxgg— Laura Nahmias (@nahmias) May 8, 2018