Matthew’s parents Patti and Bert are said to be distressed that their son has been linked to yet another scandal, as New Idea can exclusively reveal the father of Matt’s fiancee Catherine Schneiderman is facing allegations he has been sexually violent to women.
‘This is obviously Patti and Bert’s worst nightmare come true – that Matthew’s become embroiled in another scandal,’ says a family source.
According to recent reports, Matthew’s future father-in-law Eric Schneiderman violently assaulted four women he was in relationships with. The news sees Matthew’s name dragged through the mud and has left his parents anxious.
Two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, told The New Yorker that Eric ‘repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent’.
Eric, who resigned from his position as attorney general last week, said in a statement: ‘It’s been my honour 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.’
Both Patti and Bert hoped Matthew going stateside would be a good move, particularly as Eric was such an upstanding figure. But now these allegations have them more worried than ever, and Patti is keen to head to New York to ensure her son’s safety.
‘They really hoped that Matthew’s move to New York and his relationship with Catherine would see him settle down and that his life would be scandal-free. They were really encouraged by the fact Cat’s dad was such an upstanding man and had such an important, high-profile job. But reading these allegations against Eric has sent a shiver down Patti and Bert’s spines,’ spills the close source.
Since Eric’s recent resignation, Matthew’s past is being rehashed by the American media, and despite moving to the US to escape bad press, his misdemeanours are now being splashed over all the papers.
In 2006, Matthew was accused of domestic assault against his then partner actress Brooke Satchwell, and in 2010, actress Rachael Taylor ended their relationship due to an altercation. Court documents revealed that Rachael was left with injuries consistent with having her head ‘bashed against the floor and walls’.
In 2011 and 2012, Matthew was charged with two more assaults – one against a Sydney taxi driver and another against a hotel receptionist in Miami.
Following the charges, Matt, who has been diagnosed with bipolar, checked into the Betty Ford centre in California for alcohol and drug treatment.
He later expressed his regret in an A Current Affair interview, saying: ‘It is intolerable to harm women, it is intolerable to harm your best friends and it is intolerable to harm yourself. I’ve done all of those things and I utterly regret it.’
Since getting engaged to Catherine, 25, Matthew, 41, hasn’t been linked to any other domestic upsets and has been on the road to better health, but now this scandal has dragged him into another mess.
‘Obviously Matthew isn’t a part of the drama, but just the fact that he’s been dragged into his father-in-law’s mess is very upsetting for Patti and Bert.’
Eric, who has long been a supporter of women’s rights, has denied the allegations, adding: ‘In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in roleplaying 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.'
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