(CNSNews.com) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the state's top law enforcement officer, abruptly resigned Monday night, three hours after The New Yorker magazine published a report in which four women detailed the physical and sexual abuse -- including slapping, choking, verbal insults -- they say they suffered at his hands.
Two of the women, described as "progressive Democratic feminists," are quoted by name in the article.
In a statement, Schneiderman wrote: "“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
In February, Schneiderman filed a civil-rights suit against Harvey Weinstein, denouncing the movie mogul's predatory behavior as "despicable." And as the New Yorker noted, Schneiderman recently has become "an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment."
Jane Mayer, who co-authored the article with Ronan Farrow, said two of Schneiderman's ex-girlfriends got together to discuss what happened to them as the #MeToo movement gained traction.
Mayer spoke to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Monday evening:
It was really interesting watching this whole thing unfold, and I think part of it was the backdrop -- was the #MeToo movement, but also really the allegations that came out about Rob Porter and domestic violence -- the top White House aide who had to resign because of the pictures of a black eye that his wife got. She said it was from him.
And as these women who had dated Eric Schneiderman over the years watched all of these headlines and these stories unfolding, they felt they had some responsibility to speak up themelves. All these women are...are supporters -- were supporters of Schneiderman. They are -- they were progressive feminists, very articulate people who, you know, were I would say -- at least three of them were -- you know, sort of describe themselves as having been in love with him.
So they were big supporters of his but they also were supporters of women's empowerment, and they felt tremendously conflicted as the news moved in this direction. ANd then with the attorney general taking such a prominent role in supervising the Weinstein case, which, you know, is one of the high profile sexual harassment cases in recent history.
They just felt the hypocrisy became kind of untenable, and they began to reach out to each other and form an alliance kind of, really.
Just last week, a New York-based reproductive health group honored Schneiderman as a "Champion of Choice," The New Yorker reported. According to the magazine, as Schneiderman accepted the award, he said: "If a woman cannot control her body, she is not truly equal.” The magazine went on to quote one of his ex-girlfriends as saying, "You cannot be a champion of women when you are hitting them and choking them in bed, and saying to them, 'You’re a f***ing whore.'"
Schneiderman issued a second statement Monday night, saying he's leaving office:
"It's been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York. In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me," Schneiderman said. "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."