New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman quits amid abuse reports



New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned following allegations of assault by four women.

The resignation came after the New Yorker magazine published a report quoting the women who accused Mr Schneiderman, 63, of hitting them.

Two identified themselves as former girlfriends of his.

Mr Schneiderman – who contests the allegations – has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” he said in an initial statement on Monday. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

He later said he “strongly contests” the allegations but would step down.

“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,” he said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had called for Mr Schneiderman’s resignation, following the reports.

“No-one is above the law, including New York’s top legal officer,” he said. “I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as attorney general.”

Mr Cuomo said he would ask a prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

“After the most difficult month of my life – I spoke up,” Ms Manning Barish wrote on Twitter after the allegations were published.

“For my daughter and for all women. I could not remain silent and encourage other women to be brave for me.”

Jennifer Cunningham, Mr Schneiderman’s ex-wife, released a statement on Monday saying: “I’ve known Eric for nearly 35 years as a husband, father, and friend… I find it impossible to believe these allegations are true.”

Last month, the New Yorker won a joint Pulitzer Prize with the New York Times for its reporting on sexual harassment in Hollywood.

The reports brought down film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has denied dozens of sexual misconduct allegations.

Some Republicans have celebrated the demise of Mr Schneiderman, a Democrat who has been a vocal opponent of President Trump.

Presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway posted a tweet from Mr Schneiderman in which he says he will continue to remind Mr Trump that no-one is above the law. Her own tweet simply says “Gotcha.”

Source: BBC

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