July 25th, 2013
04:51 PM ET
9 years 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. getreal

    What did she think this was? She thought he was going to throw his career away for her. This girl is no victim, she's after money!!

    July 26, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. Jim

    She doesn't deserve to be loved for what she's done, but would you rather have had Weiner lie to you and get away with it indefinitely? The man is an absolute snake, andi know we say politicians all are, but that's only because we allow it. I mean come on people, he didn't just disrespect his wife, he disrespected all of us. Except unlike his wife we have nothing to gain from forgiving him, but we sure have plenty to lose.

    July 26, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  3. Bob May

    No need to feel manipulated, girlfriend. Just turn off the computer.

    July 26, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. anonymous

    weiner talks to ugly. nice pair. she is such a fake. you can easily see she was making up stuff to get her 10 minutes of fame. CNN was becoming more tabloid which is confirmed by this interview. no more CNN for me. Still can't believe Blitzer and others would give this so much airtime.

    July 26, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  5. Vader

    Is it just me, or is this woman seem either totally naive or totally calculating?

    I suppose the acid test will be the number of "news" interviews and publicity stunts she appears in.

    If she keeps popping up, then it's "calculating". If she hangs her head in embarassment and shame (a middle-aged married man in the public eye? Really?) then "naive".

    July 26, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. Candice

    She's a home wrecker and has no respect for herself. What an idiot...

    July 26, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  7. Lou

    Complete trash. Who's daughter is this woman? You can absolutely tell she is loving every minute of this mess. Weiner obviously needs help along with his wife. They both need mental health counseling.

    July 26, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. ExecutiveBranch Employee

    As an executive branch employee dealing with NY issues, I on more than one occasion had interaction with then-Congressman Weiner. He was rude, pompas, ill-informed, and inconsiderate. He would get right in a person's face and yell at them if they dared to say one thing that he disagreed with or was in the slightest bit challenging to his position. He did this to me multiple times. He did it to our agency's director, a Presidential appointee.

    How you treat people is important – – especially when you are in a position of power. Mr. Weiner shouldn't be elected to any public office in part because he doesn't have respect for public service / public employees.

    All of this other mess is just further evidence of his poor character.

    July 26, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. keith

    there are two kinds of people in the united states. there are those that would feel shame and embarrassment from being called out for doing this. these people would do their best to stay out of the public eye. and then there are the other kinds of people, who use these public shaming events to try and squeeze some semblance of fame out of it, milking it for all its worth. these people do not care if they are humiliated, they only want attention. interestingly enough, most politicians fall into the latter group.

    July 26, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  10. Disgusted

    She was manipulated?! How about she was looking for her 15 minutes of fame?
    Stupid choices. Bad judgment by her. By him. It feels like high school.

    Please spare us and boot this pathetic bunch off the front pages.

    July 26, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. JAke

    she should thank him. now she can write a book and make a million

    July 26, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. Steve Johnson

    Give me a break, this girl is not a victim.

    She almost certainly intended all along to eventually "come out" and get her 5 minutes in the spotlight.

    Anthony Weiner is a predictable pervert, and it would have been easy to accomplish the task of getting him to send lewd photos.

    July 26, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  13. Brian Sellers

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

    That one sentence tells you everything you need to know about this morally challenged woman. Her hero is a married man with a newborn who is sending her pics of his weiner. Obama says he'll "bounce back" and Hillary instructs Weiner's wife to "stick it out" for his political career. The Democratic Party is morally bankrupt.

    July 26, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  14. joesmith

    don't you just love people with dual citizenships, ( weiner & wife ), who get political insider jobs ( at taxpayer expense ), with none other than Hillary Clinton, and husband Bill, that put them up close and personal to very highly influential data about our Govn't, and we taxpayers sit back and pay her $500,000.00, while her pervert husband tries to dupe N.Y. citizens for even more taxpayer $$..Holder needs to send these folks back where they came from; and get a refund on the $$ we already paid her..America, what a wonderful Country..

    July 26, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  15. thinkergal

    This woman, as well as Weiner, should do as Nancy Pelosi suggested: Keep all this stuff private!

    July 26, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  16. mattk

    "Hey HEY! Everyone! Look at me! Are you paying attention to me as well? I want attention!"
    this is essentially what this girl is doing.

    July 26, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. boyamidumb

    If these fools are going to ruin their careers, why can't they at least pick someone moderately attractive as the object of their perversions? Might make it a little more interesting. Instead it just makes it more pathetic.

    July 26, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. Anonymous

    The expression on her face definitely says "I was manipulated".

    July 26, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. TonyInNYC

    But doesn't sexting involve a lot of make believe?

    July 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |

    I wonder how much she was paid for the interview??? The scumbags of media will do anything for ratings.

    July 26, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  21. Whatthe

    In one interview she claimed that this happened because she was young and dumb but she's learned so much more now that she's 23. Well lady, I'm younger than you and I know enough not to mess around with a married man. Given this guy's background, it's pretty obvious he's a sleazebag and she knew it, she liked the attention he gave her.

    What happened to her wanting to remain anonymous? Must be she likes the attention the media is giving her as well. Before you blame your stupidity on age, think of a better excuse or better yet, own up to it and take responsibility for your mistakes. Don't make the rest of us 20 somethings look like morons.

    July 26, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  22. Chooch

    She knew exactly what she was doing – as she does now. Who's the manipulator?

    July 26, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  23. The Dude

    Sydney Leathers? Sounds fake... like Carlos Danger

    July 26, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Good Lord... haven't we had enough of this "story". I find this perv to be as distasteful as the next person, but enough is enough. No more Weiner, CNN.

    July 26, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  25. B Dub

    Simply read the discussion between her and the "jounalist" who broke the "story". She AND the journalist openly corresponded about how much money she would/could get from this. It's about money. She has no altruistic axes to grind here. She's just a money-grubbing 15 mins of fame seeker. Anthony Weiner showing off his last name? Nothing new here, move along.

    July 26, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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