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. pukka

    Disclaimer: I have a Masters in industrial/organizational psychology, so for what it’s worth (not much unfortunately), her are my two cents.

    If I were her, I strategize more. What you wear and how much make up you have on can give the wrong impression. I would have worn less makeup with a simple hair style. For example, there is a picture of her with her dog where she looks like more of a college student and less of a seductress. If she wants to be taken seriously, she needs to stop selling her looks and start selling her brains.

    July 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. Tammy

    Please. He's just slime. Period. Women like her... are disgraceful She knew he was married. She pursued him, No one "manipulated" her, She was just using herself for her 15 minutes. Suck it up, put on your big girl panties, and um.. Try to keep them there this time. You're disgusting.

    July 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. James PDX

    I agree with those saying this women is no victim. She's actually quite pathetic. There are more than enough single men to choose from. A woman only gets involved with a rich, married politician for one reason – money and fame. I hope you enjoy yours, Ms. Leathers. You're at least as disgusting of a person as Wiener.

    July 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Harry Cline

    @Anonymous 4:52 am,

    You make a very credible point. However, she needs to get over the fact she got conned. Going on television within 2 days of this story tells me she still want's that pay day.

    For you young men out there keep her name in the back of your head so you don't get hooked up with her. At 23 years old she's already spent trash.

    July 26, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. Uthor

    Weiner's wife is so refined and elegant, and has a rare kind of beauty. Yet he ends up with this woman? Yeah, I know we shouldn't focus on looks, but the story seems to be anchored in physical attraction. Just hard to understand. If you're going to do it, why risk everything on such mediocre quality?

    July 26, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Karri

    Oh hunny...take off that trashy pink lipstick and stop pretending you are the victim.

    July 26, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. NYGirl

    I find it hard to find that she feels manipulated. She knew he was married and was sexting with him?

    July 26, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Durundal

    10 bucks says she tried to blackmail him and this is the result – any takers?

    July 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. Mary K. Walker

    Weiner is incapable of handling a "public trust" job such as NYC mayor. "Perpetual horney" is sick anyway you want to look at it. Huma's support at this stage tells me SHE is as sick as he is. Ms. Leathers is just enjoying her 15 minutes of fame (of course she is sick as well). I am not a NYC resident, but if I were, I would not vote for this clown. NYC is as close to Washington, DC politics as it gets. Bloomberg is a tyrant and his time has come and gone. I think both Weiner and his wife need to be admitted to a mental health facility and take in some very badly needed therapy. Today is a good day to start. Start by getting Weiner OUT of the race for mayor!

    July 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. carol green

    She's just as guilty as he is since she participated in this disgusting act. She's nothing to look at and probably gets her kicks off texting, etc. in this manner with not only him but other men as well. I don't know how she can hold her head up in public and as for him, what an embarrassment not only to his family and friends but to NYC since he is running for mayor. I hope they remove him from the ballot but worse case, he will remain on and not get the votes. Since his wife is from a Middle East country where they do not recognize divorce etc., she is dead to them (part of her culture) so she cannot return....she's stuck with him.

    July 26, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. samsart

    She's an opportunistic leech and she is trying to make every dime she can from this. She does not come off as innocent, nor a victim. She comes off as just as calculating and manipulating as Weiner. Like attracts like. Politics creates this kind of environment and those bent on drinking at the trough show up. If she is looking for sympathy ~ she does not warrant it.

    July 26, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. Kate

    Sydney, You got your 15 minutes of fame. Now, STFU and go away - please!!You were a power groupie (just like Monica Lewinski) and knew you were texting with a married man. Shame on you! Now you parade your shyte in front of the nation?? You should go on about your life and try to forget your sordid encounters. The only victim here is his wife....

    July 26, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. mole man

    Why do cheaters always act like they are the victims & come clean for $$$$

    July 26, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. me

    She feels manipulated.. with a glimmer in her eye and a slight smile. Wink wink. I'm betting she manipulated him just so she could one benefit from it. When she found out who he really was, why didn't she call it off if it was so demeaning and manipulating? Takes two to tango, and she obviously knew how to dance.

    July 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Pete

    How can he put his family thru this, again? I feel bad for his wife! This time even more public... What a loser!

    July 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Fair is Fair


    10 bucks says she tried to blackmail him and this is the result – any takers?
    Perhaps... but if that gets proven, she's going to be in a world of hurt (deservedly so)

    July 26, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. sammy750

    This story is about the same as Tiger Woods and all his women. They just wanted money too. And some got a few millions thanks to Gloria Allred. She always think men are at fault for women enticing them.

    July 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. luv2dogs

    Who cares? And why isn't she seen as a pariah?

    July 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Mari

    No we have not heard enough from cnn these types have got to stop because what they are capable of doing in their private lives they continue into their life PIRIOD. This man is a manipulator, controller, abuser, leads double life, has double personalities and this behavior has to stop. No he can not be MAYOR HAVE WE ALL GONE NUTS? If you or someone you know is anything like this get help today. Stay in help till you have completely recovered so that you do not go out there and abuse a 23 year old, a wife, a child the list is too long and it horrifies me to thing how many people on man can ruin and he wants to be Mayor go start over your life your not fit to work anywhere for now.

    July 26, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Chris

    Inside Edition? Are you kidding me , PAY DAY. whatever. It takes to to play the game. Sorry honey it is what it is. I ain't saying she a Gold digger.................

    July 26, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. Frank

    CNN, I am sure that you can put your news resources to better use. How long does the public have to endure these politically motivated scandals being played over and over again? Let us move on please.

    July 26, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Peter

    Wait, so she knew that Weiner was a disgraced former congressman who was brought down by a sexting scandal, and who was married with a child... and she feels "manipulated?" The guy is a perv but how is she getting any attention here. It's clear what role she played, and it's not the innocent.

    July 26, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. mrtoots

    If this lady is so up to date with her politics, she clearly knows this man's past. Why would she think it is ok to sext him? She should have dealt with this personally and not on Inside Edition. The way she has handled this says a lot about her and who she really cares about. I feel terrible for this man's wife. I hope she finds someone who will treat her with respect and love like she deserves. She can do so much better and Weiner needs help.

    July 26, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. lemondrops

    How interesting – She felt manipulated. How so? She knew this bird was a married man and yet she obviously didn't care. The only one that was manipulated in this situation is Wiener WIFE and Her Son.

    July 26, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Jake

    why is this person being given any free publicity?? she knew he was married!!! yes, he may be a manipulator
    but she is an adult and should know right from wrong .... she's an adulterer!!!! how proud must her mother be
    that she is putting her face out there .................. Shame on this person, I wouldn't want her around my sons

    July 26, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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