New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned after four women accused him of being physically abusive.
The powerful Democrat, who championed the #Metoo movement and took action against Harvey Weinstein while in office, stepped down just hours after the allegations surfaced.
The women told The New Yorker magazine that Mr Schneiderman had slapped, choked and verbally abused them during what were supposed to be consensual encounters.
The alleged victims said the violence was not consensual.
Activist and writer Tanya Selvaratnam told The New Yorker she had a year-long affair with Mr Schneiderman.
Statement from Eric T. Schneiderman:
“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 non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
— Eric T. Schneiderman (@Schneiderman) May 7, 2018
She said: “Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did.
“He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property’.
“This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behaviour.”
Michelle Manning Barish had a two-year relationship with Mr Schneiderman.
She told The New Yorker that he drank heavily and often hit her.
She said he would be “shaking me and grabbing my face” and demanding she say things things like “I’m a little whore”.
Manning Barish says Mr Schneiderman told her: “If you ever left me, I’d kill you.”
In a statement, 63-year-old Mr Schneiderman said: “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual activity.
“I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
The Manhattan District Attorney has opened an investigation into the allegations of violence.
Mr Schneiderman has been one of Donald Trump’s most vocal opponents, suing over Trump University and opposing executive orders on travel bans and transgender people in the military in the courts.
Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to the President, tweeted “Gotcha” next to an old tweet of Mr Schneiderman’s which read: “No one is above the law, and I’ll continue to remind President Trump and his administration of that fact every day.”
Mr Trump’s son Donald trump Jr tweeted: “Hey Eric, it’s not ‘role play’ if only one of you is in on it.”