Transcript for Tanya Selvaratnam speaks on new memoir
The former girlfriend of new York's once top prosecutor, Eric Schneiderman, detailing in a new book his alleged abusive behavior. Their relationship happening at the same time he was going after big names like Harvey Weinstein. Janai has been speaking with her. Good morning to you, janai. Good morning, yeah. He was a rising political star outspoken against sexual harassment going after Harvey Weinstein and suing his company for restitution for Weinstein's survivors. One of his alleged accusers is telling her story in a new book saying she has clear objectives like, quote, pointing out the hypocrisy of men who champion women in public, but abuse them in private. This morning, an acclaimed author, activist and producer opening up three years after a bombshell "New Yorker" report detailed her claims that she was in an abusive relationship with former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman. Publicly he was a Progressive. He was a feminist. He became a key ally of the me too movement. Privately he abused me. Reporter: Tanya selvaratnam speaking out on camera for the first time, describing what she says started as a fairy tale but turned into a nightmare relationship in which she claims she suffered physical, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of Schneiderman, at the time New York's highest ranking law enforcement official. A friend who's like my sister sensed that something was wrong. She reached out, hey, do you want to talk? And in the course of the conversation she just asked, does he hit you? And because she's like my sister, I wasn't going to lie to her and I said, yes. You said you felt so confident and secure in your abilities at work and your friendships, but that's not how you felt in every realm of your life, specifically as you said when it came to romance and intimate relationships. I had gone through a series of miscarriages, infertility treatment, cancer and then divorce. Professionally. I was surrounded by friends and family and colleagues, but on the inside I was definitely weakened with regard to romance. I was vulnerable. I also see the retrospect, I was ripe for it. Reporter: She says that he had a proclivity for violence. He would look at my scars from cancer surgery, and look at them as they were a badge of courage. But then, as the darkness seeped in and the controlling behavior increased, he would look at my scars as if they were ugly and wanted me to get plastic surgery. Reporter: The book also reports repeated psychological abuse. I was hopeful he would get help. I was scared. I was with the top law enforcement officer in New York state. Three, as a sensitive person and an EP path, I wanted to help him. Reporter: Within hours of the allegations Schneiderman resigned. He said I have never assaulted anyone. He strongly contests the a special prosecutor decided not to pursue criminal charges, writing legal impediments preclude criminal prosecution. The allegations in the book coinciding with a rising number of cases of domestic violence amid the pandemic, based on data from 12 cities, the domestic violence -- I wrote the book to take the shame and stigma out of story telling about intimate violence and I feel these waves crashing around me right now, that we are at the next wave of the me too movement and that next wave is about exposing intimate violence in abusive relationships. Schneiderman saying in a statement that he realizes the district attorney's decision not to prosecute does not mean he has done nothing wrong and he accepts full responsibility for, quote, my conduct, my relationships with my accusers and for the impact it had on them. Also we need to disclose ABC's signature Disney television has optioned the book and it's being developed into a series.
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