July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
12 months ago

Weiner, with wife at side, says lewd exchanges happened after resignation

Updated at 10:13 p.m. ET on 7/23

(CNN) - With his wife by his side, New York mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner said Tuesday that some of the sexually explicit online exchanges that were published by a gossip website happened after his resignation from the U.S. House in 2011.

"Some of these things happened before my resignation, some happened after," Weiner said at a hastily organized press conference in New York, where he also pushed back when asked if the latest revelation would prompt him to drop out of the race.

His remarks came hours after screenshots of sexually charged conversations and photographs appeared on a gossip website which alleged the communications were between Weiner and a young woman last summer.

Weiner resigned his House seat in New York after admitting to sending lewd photographs and images to multiple women.

In an extraordinary move, Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, appeared beside her husband Tuesday and made brief remarks backing him.

"What I want to say is I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as I have said from the beginning, we are moving forward," said Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Clinton, adding that Weiner had made some "horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress, and after."

PHOTOS: Weiner addresses lewd exhanges

Weiner resisted calls from some of his rivals for the Democratic mayoral nomination to give up his bid, adding, "I'm sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race."

The New York chapter of the National Organization for Woman called on Weiner to withdraw from the race following his press conference.

"As if we didn't already have enough evidence of Anthony Weiner's utter lack of judgment, impulse control and honesty, these latest revelations show the degree to which his candidacy distracts us from the important business of choosing the next leader of New York City," Sonia Ossorio, the president of the group, wrote in a statement.

The editorial board of the New York Times followed suit, writing "At some point, the full story of Anthony Weiner and his sexual relationships and texting habits will finally be told. In the meantime, the serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City."

READ MORE: Who's in the lead in the New York City mayoral race?

Earlier in the day, Weiner released a statement admitting that some of the conversations and photos that appeared on the website TheDirty.com were his.

"While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong," Weiner said.

In the statement, Weiner pointed to previous comments he made around the time he announced his bid for New York City mayor, in which he said it was possible for more photos to come out as he made a re-entry into politics.

"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have," he said Tuesday.

The exchanges that surfaced Tuesday were revealed about a year after they allegedly took place and in the middle of Weiner's Democratic primary campaign for New York mayor.

"This behavior is behind me. I've apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness," he said.

READ MORE: Has the road to political redemption gotten shorter?

In facing reporters, Weiner was supported by his wife, who in emotional comments discussed the couple's struggles to save their marriage.

"I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage," she said. "That was a decision I made for me, for our son, and for our family."

"This was the first time we heard his wife, Huma Abedin, speak at a press conference, but also speak about these issues," CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash said. "This wasn't just a scene of a wife standing by her political man. This was a wife coming up to the cameras, coming up to the microphones, and talking, which was frankly extraordinary. She is somebody who isn't just a wife. She is very politically savvy."

"Maybe most importantly, she learned at the knee of Hillary Clinton, somebody who most famously stood by her man politically. And so she's following in those footsteps,” Bash continued.

READ MORE: Huma Abedin, a Hillary Clinton adviser, emerges from privacy to spotlight

As Weiner's latest scandal unfolded, Harper's Bazaar published excerpts of an article Abedin wrote for the magazine.

"Three years ago I was a single workaholic, traveling the globe with an amazing job at the U.S. State Department. I could not have imagined how much my life would change in three short years," Abedin wrote for the magazine's September issue.

"Today I'm married, with a feisty 20-month-old son, a full-time job, and a husband running for mayor of New York."

Abedin said she has kept her personal life private for years, and no one is more surprised than she is to see herself on the campaign trail.

"So why am I doing this? Because Anthony has always been a smart, caring, and dedicated person, and while he's the same public servant who wants what's best for the people he represents, he is now something else-a better man," Abedin wrote.

Weiner’s public remarks came after chat messages purporting to be from Weiner were published on the website TheDirty.com. The post cited a "solid" source alleging Weiner engaged in lewd online conversations with her, and reproduced lengthy chats that were sexual in nature.

READ MORE: 'Women for Anthony' hope to boost Weiner mayoral bid

The woman, 22, says Weiner vowed to secure her a place on a panel hosted by Politico, as well as purchase a condominium for her in Chicago.

"I just want people to really know he's lying when he acts like he has changed," the unnamed woman told TheDirty.

In one instance, an explicit photo was published that the site claimed Weiner sent to the woman online. The name Weiner used online was "Carlos Danger," according to TheDirty.com

Weiner, who represented parts of Brooklyn and Queens, resigned from Congress after admitting to sending lewd photographs to multiple women online. At first he hedged on whether the photos were of him, including in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth," Weiner said at the time.

After more reports of online exchanges with other women surfaced, fellow Democrats encouraged Weiner to resign, which he ultimately did after confessing to the indiscretions.

In the run-up to his mayoral bid, which he launched in May, he said more photos could emerge.

"If reporters want to go and try to find more, I can't say they're not going to be able to find another picture, find another person who may want to come out on their own," he told RNN Television. "But I'm not going to contribute to that. The basics of the story are not going to change. It's behind me. It was a huge mistake."

Polls taken over the past several weeks have shown Weiner either leading his closest rival for the Democratic mayoral nomination, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, or trailing her in second place.

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Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (1,191 Responses)
  1. KTizz

    I think she loves the Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. Grant

    She's a beautiful woman and I can't understand why she stuck herself with that schmuck of a guy.

    July 23, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. 1alien1

    the loser is still dragging his wife and the citizens through this nonsense. to all of you saying at least he admitted it, he was caught and had to, he did not choose to

    July 23, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. Blair

    It's a bird, it's a plane, it's "Weiner Man"!!!

    July 23, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. PA86

    Whether she forgives him or not is entirely up to her. Whether he is qualified to be mayor is another story. His behavior would lead one to believe that he is not. I would think his mental stability would be an issue as he seems to not have a handle on reality at times.

    July 23, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. apples2apples

    He has a wonderful, kind wife. I feel for her. She has taken "stand by your man". To far. Find someone that is not so....well I'll let anyone else place there thoughts.

    July 23, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Meh. If his wife is fine with it then what is the problem? Mind your own business.

    Most people lead far more interesting sex lives than they pretend to in public. I hope most of you are doing even more interesting things than this guy. As long as it involves only consensual adults and no one gets hurt, then I could care less.

    July 23, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  8. Lionel

    Why is this news?? Big deal... He sent pics of his junk around to other women...
    He wasn't arrested, he wasn't sued in civil court, he wasn't kicked out of the senate. He's married, yes. But he sent pics of his schween around to women. No proof he had extra-marital relations. Maybe he's super proud of it.
    I say let it go. Who cares?
    Here's the problem with American politics. No matter how great a politician, and true "fighter for the people", the only thing that matters is how one conducts their personal life.
    Clinton was probably the greatest prez holding office during my lifetime... And he got a BJ.
    Yes, let's throw out great politicians that care about the well-being of the people they represent.... B/C they were caught thinking with the wrong head.

    July 23, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. lolwut

    His wife does a remarkable Hillary Clinton impression.

    July 23, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  10. alf564

    Money and politics create strange bed fellows...this woman is in it for what///....love ...naw.
    maybe to see what she can earn or make or perhaps how much info she can get to
    pass on to her Muslim friends and family...I think that is more likely

    July 23, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  11. Gman

    Just read a comment saying "at least this guy manned up and admitted it"...you gotta love New Yorkers. They deserve this clown. Back to real news.

    July 23, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. Susan Brown

    His wife is a fool. I pity her.

    July 23, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    What stands out from this UNFOLDING, NEVER-ENDING DRAMA, specifically on why his wife is sticking with him after all this serial misconduct is this.

    His wife Huma Abedin who is Dy. Chief of Staff at the US State Dept, and who's the daughter of a leading MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD leader of PAKISTANI ORIGIN, settled in SAUDI ARABIA has a GREATER ISLAMIC AGENDA that she can carry forward by having a White American by her side. She is there to just cash-in on her MORALLY WEAK HUSBAND and knows that he can be BLACKMAILED to get her ISLAMIC AGENDA FORWARD.

    That's PRECISELY how a lot of people operate, incl. the other COVERT ISLAMIST CNN's Mr. FAREED ZAKARIA who is carrying on (inspite of a TROUBLED MARRIAGE) with his JEWISH WIFE.

    That was what Anna Chapman, who had married a British Man and acquired British citizenship.

    That was also true with Pakistani politician Imran Khan (an ardent supporter of Islamic radicals) who had married a British Jewish Baroness Marcelle Goldsmith who later converted to Islam and became Jemima Khan.

    These people do everything they can to carry forward their agenda, and try to blend in their personal lives into achieving their goals.

    July 23, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Quinn

    if he continued on after his scandal, he will again lose focus, do it again, and not devote his full attention to being a good politician, a good husband and a good father. Quinn Baby!

    July 23, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    how can she forgive him that easy? oh because he is running for office

    July 23, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. frank thomas

    oh no the wieners weiner got him in trouble again, when his penis sees a camera what does it do jump out and smile,??

    July 23, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  17. Steve

    This just doesn't bother me. If I'm reading it right the woman was open to his communications and he was not harassing her, in which case, the only issue is between him and his wife. I'd judge him on his political record and policies.

    July 23, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Mountain2008

    Slowly, I walked here.

    July 23, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  19. Vickie

    Weiner is a dick!

    July 23, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  20. MaryM

    Give it up Anthony. Just because the repubs voted Sanford back in office does not mean you can also get votes.

    July 23, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. fisheyesoup

    go.AWAY.

    July 23, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  22. breater1

    Is this the best being offered the voters of NYC?

    July 23, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. austin

    Weiner has hurt nobody. The issue should be between him and his wife and no business of
    the holier-than-thou mob. Weiner should be, and will be elected for his ability to govern. If being
    pious is a requisite of public office then our government will be run by nuns and priests with
    the pope as our president and commander in chief.

    July 23, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  24. Ben

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behaviour.

    July 23, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  25. tbone

    People sure do live up to their name....

    We have a "Weiner" who likes to show his weener.

    We have a "Boehner" who acts like a Bonner.

    July 23, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
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