July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
10 years 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. wrm

    If at first you don't succeed, fail again.

    July 23, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

    It's not about forgiveness, it's about Weiner being confronted and lying about it. That's not the type of represnetation people want and demand. Furthermore, Houma is disgusting to suggest that everyone else should forget about it because it's something from the past. It ain't in the past when it's still lookin' back at ya from the front page LOL.

    July 23, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. gord

    weiner roast

    July 23, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Michael

    id havemore respect for him if he could atleast deliver this speech without a piece of paper cmon. If you really felt that way you wouldnt have to glance at a piece of paper to simply say Im sorry for hurting my wife and losing trust in everyone.

    July 23, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Dan

    Weiner didn't "man-up". If he were a man, he would have told about his texting and picture-sending BEFORE he was caught. He came out after he was exposed. He calls what he did "a mistake", but it wasn't an accident. He chose to do what he did. He's only sorry for getting caught.

    I don't understand how his smart, beautiful wife can stand behind that pile of garbage. She should get rid of him.

    July 23, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Jack

    I just can't stop laughing every time I hear about this pervert showing his penis to the world with the name Weiner. I just wish his parents had been more prescient and named him Richard.

    July 23, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. colin in Florida

    His wife has to be either totally controlled by Weiner (likely) or she is as power hungry as he is. Either way, I have no respect for her, and less than zero for dear hubby.

    July 23, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. VIC

    This is really the guy New Yorkers want as their mayor? I don't know if the polls are a joke or if Quinn is so bad he's actually the best option.

    July 23, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. nm

    I do not condone cheating or lying, but if the wife is in the know, OK, who am I to judge.?
    Then you GO with what ever is OK in YOUR marriage/vows.

    If your wife requests the super-buff pool boy, and the shopping spree in Paris and the house in Mauritius after all of this, she gets that. Got it?

    July 23, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. NorCalMojo

    Good career move by his wife. She's now qualified to be a doormat, a NY senator, or Secretary of State.

    July 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. L'Heureux

    Huma Abedin, like many wives all over the world, continues to suffer under the what? The disrespectful antics of a mere human male. Geeze maybe she shoudl be running for office. This is emotional domestic abuse. Huma Abedin for mayor! Landslide there...

    July 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Just Disgusted

    If Weiner becomes Mayor of NYC I will move my business to New Jersey! BOOM!
    I can not imaging that perv running the most complex city in the world. He doesn't deserve it.

    July 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Thnj

    Hope he goes out on a dark and rainy night wearing a hoodie.

    July 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. John

    It just says something about the intelligence of elected officials or politicians that they keep thinking they can get away with this kind of behavior. Wife looks real happy – someone would have to be paying me big time to "stand by this man".

    July 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. JustSayin

    The guy obviously hasn't learned his lesson. I wouldn't someone with those kind of issues as my mayor. Look at what's happening in San Diego with their perverted mayor.

    July 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Jo

    Low Life!!

    July 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Please let this be the end of his political career.

    July 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Ben

    If he truly regrets his decisions and truly wanted to move forward, then he wouldn't be running for PUBLIC OFFICE. He's only sorry because he got caught. End of story.

    July 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Ulysses-AZ

    I really don't care what this guy likes to do behind closed doors, with his wife or anyone else. However, can we consider him trustworthy? Sure, his wife forgives him... she has a vested interest in seeing him resuscitate his career. If he wants to get back into politics we would all be better served if he started nearer the bottom... say a spot on the school board or even city council. I think electing this guy so soon after his disgrace would be a bad move.

    July 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Harald

    Whether or not his wife supports him doesn't matter. What matters is that, for somebody seeking public office, he shows pretty bad judgment in addition to an inability to learn from past mistakes.
    Not somebody I would trust.

    July 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. bryan

    who cares what the stupid doormat of a wife thinks about him? why is that any of our concern? is NYC really considering this twisted little deviant to be the finest candidate running for mayor?

    this country has lost its way

    July 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. MaryAngeline

    Unbelievable that his wife is standing beside him!! She is such a smart woman in so many ways....and so totally stupid in others.

    July 23, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. Marc

    This is not news. And certainly not 'Breaking' news. For shame, CNN.

    July 23, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. OpinionatedFirstAmerican

    Word to the wife:
    You can't be that dumb to stand by the idiot. You're considered a smart woman; GET RID OF HIM. He's a joke to the city of New York, the State of New York, and he's already proved it to the country.

    July 23, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. Cadu

    is his wife blind? Please let's move on, he again had his 15 minutes.... NEXT....

    July 23, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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