Who is Tanya Selvaratnam? Former NY AG Eric Schneiderman called ex a 'brown slave', slapped her during sex

Tanya Selvaratnam wrote in her new memoir 'Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence', how she was drawn to Schneiderman after he portrayed himself as a champion of women's rights

                            Who is Tanya Selvaratnam? Former NY AG Eric Schneiderman called ex a 'brown slave', slapped her during sex
Tanya Selvaratnam (L) has alleged she was relentlessly abused by Eric Schneiderman (R) (Wikimedia Commons/Getty Images)

Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s ex-girlfriend has written a memoir about their horror relationship, noting how he allegedly threatened to kill her if she ever left him. Tanya Selvaratnam wrote in her new memoir, 'Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence', how she was drawn to Schneiderman after he portrayed himself as a champion of women's rights, the New York Post reported.

Privately, however, Schneiderman horribly abused Selvaratnam, whom he allegedly called his "brown slave." “He was the Attorney General of New York State, and was getting national recognition as a progressive hero and a key ally of the ‘Me Too’ movement,” Selvaratnum wrote in a video promotion for her book, referring to how they began dating in 2017.


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New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pauses while speaking to reporters following a press conference to call for an end of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in New York state courts, August 3, 2017, in Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Getty Images)

“I was scared to come forward because he had told me he could have me followed. He could have my phone tapped. On some occasions, he said if we broke up he would have to kill me. But when I found out that I was not the first woman he had abused, and realized that I would not be the last, I knew that I had to come forward,” Selvaratnum wrote in her memoir, which is published by HarperCollins and is slated for release on Tuesday.

According to The Post, Selvaratnam is one of four women to accuse Schneiderman of sexual harassment and physical abuse. The former state Attorney General abruptly resigned in May 2018, just hours after the New Yorker published bombshell claims made by the women.

In her book, Selvaratnam described her experiences as Schneiderman's girlfriend. She noted how she was impressed by his apparent commitment to feminism and social justice as well as his fight against former President Donald J. Trump's alleged "attacks on civil liberties and vulnerable communities.”

Selvaratnam said Schneiderman had told her he hoped to run for governor someday and implied that she would be his first lady. Shortly thereafter, the fairy tale relationship took an ugly turn. She described her ex-boyfriend as an alcoholic who abused sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds, and how she soon realized predators like Harvey Weinstein were part of his friend circle. On some nights, she wrote, the then-AG would be “staggering around the apartment," and once got so drunk he fell in his bathroom and needed facial stitches. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks at a press conference to announce a multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census form, at the headquarters of District Council 37, New York City's largest public employee union, April 3, 2018, in New York City. (Getty Images)

Selvaratnam alleged that Schneiderman was physically and verbally violent in bed. She recounted that he would allegedly choke her, spit at her, and slap her until she called him "Master" or "Daddy." According to her, the first slap in the face during sex occurred just weeks into the relationship.

“Over time, the slaps got harder and began to be accompanied by demands,” Sevalratnum continued. “In bed, he would slap me until I agreed to find him a young girl for a three-way."

Despite the abuse, she stayed with Schneiderman for nearly a year - often feeling trapped and intimidated like many domestic violence victims. She was reportedly terrified that “he and his people [would] try to crush me” if she went public, and was able to exit the relationship only with the help of a domestic violence expert. “Writing ‘Assume Nothing’ was painful and emotional, but it was also liberating,” she said. “I wrote my way out of the darkness. A victim looks like all of us. Even fierce women get abused.”

Kirkus Reviews has hailed the book as "courageous and compelling," while Library Journal has described it as a “searing, yet sensitive account of vulnerability and redemption that will find a wide audience." Selvaratnam has previously written “The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism and the Reality of the Biological Clock." Meanwhile, her film producing credits include the 2014, Emmy-nominated “Born to Fly."

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