Less than a week ago, Eric Schneiderman, at the time New York’s state attorney general, hailed the Me Too movement as “extraordinary.” It was his last interview before he resigned Monday evening in response to bombshell allegations that he’d physically abused four women while burnishing a public image as a champion for women.
“I think it’s changing the conversation,” Schneiderman told the host, actor Alec Baldwin, last Thursday. “It is part of what I see as this moment of social transformation and of the emergence of a new political movement.”
On Tuesday, WNYC released the now-uncomfortable interview on Baldwin’s show “Here’s The Thing.” Schneiderman resigned on May 7 after The New Yorker published a report in which four women claim he subjected them to violent abuse while in relationships with them, including hitting, choking and/or threatening to kill them.
Acknowledging in the episode’s introduction that “what follows may make for difficult listening,” Baldwin says “it was important to post this now so the public has access to what turns out to be Eric Schneiderman’s last long-form interview as attorney general.”
According to Baldwin, Schneiderman’s communications director had curiously requested that the host not directly bring up the Me Too movement, Schneiderman’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, or Schneiderman’s own previous relationships.
“There were signs that maybe something was amiss,” Baldwin said.
Toward the start of the interview, Schneiderman discussed his time working at an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., which he said “had a big impact on me.”
He worked at the clinic a year before the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion, so women seeking the procedure were “essentially fleeing oppression in their states,” he said.
Later, when asked which of the cases he’d taken on as attorney general affected him personally, Schneiderman mentioned his work combating child abuse.
As an aside, he said the investigation into Weinstein’s company “was like taking a swim in a sewer” and suggested it was among the cases “that get to me personally.”
On May 3, the same day as his interview with Baldwin, Schneiderman tweeted about his work at the abortion clinic: