July 25th, 2013
04:51 PM ET
1 year ago

Weiner chat partner Sydney Leathers felt 'manipulated'

Updated at 5:32 p.m. ET on 7/25

(CNN) – The woman who exchanged the sexually explicit messages that have thrown Anthony Weiner's New York City mayoral campaign into damage control mode said Thursday the former congressman deceived her when he contacted her online.

"I felt manipulated," Sydney Leathers told the television program "Inside Edition." "Obviously I felt like he's saying one thing to me, another thing to his wife, saying another thing on the campaign trail. I don't know who the real Anthony Weiner is I guess."

Later, Leathers claimed Weiner became "controlling" toward the end of their online relationship.

"He would tell me that he would be jealous," Leathers said. "He would look at my Facebook frequently. He would tell me that he would get jealous if other men would compliment me. Just little stuff like that."

Weiner's campaign declined to comment on the interview with Leathers.

READ MORE: Weiner's poll numbers tumble

The messages between Weiner and Leathers – some of which included lewd photographs of Weiner - came to light Tuesday on the gossip website TheDirty. The site claimed Weiner vowed to purchase a condominium for Leathers in Chicago, as well as secure her a place on a panel for political bloggers.

A friend of Leathers told CNN on Wednesday the 23-year-old Indiana native was a strong supporter of the New York politician even after he resigned from Congress amid similar circumstances two years ago.

READ MORE: Pelosi blasts Weiner: Do your therapy in private

Leathers actively posts about politics and her Democratic views on Facebook, and had previously included Weiner in a list of political heroes.

She said in the "Inside Edition" interview she was blown away that the former congressman would revert to the behavior that led to his resignation from Congress in 2011.

"I was shocked because I didn't think he would be so foolish as to do the same thing all over again," she said. "He was making these campaign promises that he had totally changed, and he was a better man now, and he learned from his mistakes, and I have proof that that was not true."

Leathers "cared" about Weiner, she said, and knew that he wanted her to erase any evidence of their "very sexual" conversations.

But now, as their conversations have come to light, Leathers no longer sees Weiner in quite the same way.

Asked by "Inside Edition" correspondent Jim Moret whether Weiner was trying to "pull one over" on voters, Leathers replied, "Absolutely."

"Otherwise he wouldn't have went on the whole 'I'm a changed man, I've learned my lesson, I wouldn't have said those things' if he wasn't trying to be someone he wasn't," she said.

Her verdict of Weiner now? She recalled a description the politician used about himself in one of their conversations.

"The exact wording was that he was an argumentative, perpetually horny middle aged man," she said. "And at the time, I was like, 'Oh no, you're not.' But yes, he is."

Sources: Huma Abedin considered leaving Weiner last fall

Weiner resists calls to withdraw as woman who received messages is identified

Why Anthony Weiner's problem is ours, too


Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (421 Responses)
  1. James

    Oh my goodness, just give her money or will be hearing about her for the next six months. Day after day, every other second from CNN brilliant news anchors.

    July 25, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Andrea

    She knew what she was doing and who she was doing it with. These women who get involved with married men kill me. The get on television and say how they were hurt. All they want is fame and maybe a playboy shoot. Leave the married dog alone.

    July 25, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Skeptic

    I have no use for Weiner, but this woman saying she feels "manipulated" is laughable. Does she really expect honesty from someone she met online? How naive can you be?

    July 25, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. PS

    Normally I am an advocate for those who say they were abused, manipulated, so on and so forth. This time? My gut sense is she's being as honest about this whole thing as Weiner's claims he was a changed man. I still don't think anyone deserves abuse and if he was becoming controlling and demeaning, that reflects on him as a jerk. At the same time, this is kind of like the whole "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" thing. She'd already been fooled by his public image but decided to participate in an online affair with him anyway. A snake is a snake is a snake and once you figure out someone's a rattler, don't play with him/her if you don't want to get bit!

    July 25, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. ND Nichols

    Seriously????? She felt 'manipulated' and she knew what he had previously done?? She is no better than he is. Both are PIGS!! What are you after? Money? Hope you don't get a penny, I hope Weiner's wife wakes up and dumps the pig and I sincerely hope he drops out of the race for Mayor. This guy can't be trusted. Neither can Leathers! What a sick society we live in.

    July 25, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. The Brake Fast Club (@BrakeFastClub)

    this women and all like her are trash.

    July 25, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. gg

    She sounds like got paid by the media already, looking for attention as a victim?

    July 25, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Johnnyboy

    Oh please! It's the internet, just log off or don't bother replying if you felt 'manipulated'. We're not buying it lady. You liked it, and willfully participated.

    July 25, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. Nameless person

    I'm sorry, but she is really unattractive and I think she deluded herself into thinking he was "controlling" and loved her. I honestly do think she thought they were in love, but that's because she probably doesn't have that many guys coming after her, so she was enjoying it, and pathetically thought this was something real. phhf

    What I want to know is why the press got a hold of it. I mean, why not let this stay between her and Weiner? Now she wants to expose him because she got played essentially.... This whole thing is a joke. I mean Weiner needs help of course, but i think this lady is out for revenge or payback or something.

    July 25, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. unknown

    Went to high school with this girl... her main goal in life is to be famous and she will do ANYTHING in order to get her name out there. She knew what she was doing and she did it on purpose...why else would SHE rat out herself???

    July 25, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. reasonablebe

    and this a surprise? or unusual? politician AND sick person is deceptive? amazing.

    July 25, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Carol

    Who cares what she said, and what he said. The extra lady knew he was a married man, and he knew he was a married man. He should walk away with dignity and try healing with a therapist in private. Time for the Democrats to give him up, and back someone else.

    July 25, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. seneman

    if you let Weiner win, he will do it again. he has serious problems. I think as well that his wife his covering up for personal political gain. She is bought by her husband to hush. She doesn't deserve a good man. Birds of a feather flock together.

    July 25, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. americusdawg

    Last night I watched Anderson Cooper 360 and it appeared very evident to me that this young woman is only interested in what her looks/body/FBpage can get her. Per the segment, she works at a tanning salon. It's quite a jump from fake bake retail to big league politics. Your 15 minutes of fame have officially expired. Next!

    July 25, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. bad2worse

    Not Another victim. She felt manipulated?

    Doesnt anyone take responsibility for their actions?

    July 25, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Gwats

    Never put my wife through this kind of hell in 22 years of marriage, and if I was going to, it would done in private, not in the media. She needs to leave him, and he needs to get OUT of the spotlight.

    July 25, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. StatesRights

    She feels "manipulated"??! The american public feels manipulated by Obama's admin for 5-6 yrs going.

    July 25, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Dena

    She is not the victim here. She knew who he was. She knew he was married. She continued the relationship anyway. It disgusts me that someone who put herself in the role of the other woman now wants people to feel sorry for her.

    July 25, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Lilyq

    She should be ashamed of herself. I'm embarrassed for her.

    July 25, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. J Nelson

    Can't you find something else to write about. I am so sick of this insanity. He needs help and we need silence! You need to stop obsessing about this very sick person!

    July 25, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  21. Guy Baez

    What a simple foolish girl.

    July 25, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. Glauber

    She started feeling manipulated and righteously indignant the minute it became clear that the blog position and the condo weren't really gonna happen.

    July 25, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Ellen in CA

    The fact that his wife has supported him throughout makes me wonder if she is mentally okay? She doesn't seem to realize what he has done to disgrace himself, her, and their families. He doesn't seem to realize the seriousness of his actions either. Both could benefit from some counseling if they stay together. Their child may also be at risk if this couple will not get some therapy soon.

    July 25, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. jim

    Monica Leweinski II it appears. This chick is bonkers!

    July 25, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. nvmature

    And so she is the victim, how? Was manipulated, how? She seemed to have known exactly what she was doing and to put herself in the public's eye for her monetary gain.

    July 25, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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