“It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York,” Schneiderman said in a statement late Monday. “In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. 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.”
On Monday, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam went on the record to say that Schneiderman, 63, “repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent.” In one instance, Manning Barish said Schneiderman told her that “if you ever left me, I’d kill you.”
Two other women, quoted anonymously, had similarly troubling allegations of abuse.
Shortly after the report came out, Schneiderman tried to downplay the accusations.
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” he said in a statement. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is I line I would not cross.”
Schneiderman has long championed women’s causes and has been a vocal supporter of the Me Too movement. His office filed a suit against film producer Harvey Weinstein in February, alleging Weinstein had sexually harassed women for years.
Schneiderman had been running for re-election in 2018 for what would have been his third term as New York’s chief law enforcement official.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.