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. lancesackless

    Manipulated?!?!? It takes two to tango!

    July 26, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Pusser

    She felt manipulated? She kept responding to the tweets, encouraging them. She didn't have to reply, and could have told him she felt uncomfortable. Sheesh.

    July 26, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Jennifer NY

    She is looking to cash in. News media should ignore her instead of making her a celebrity...ugh! Stupid woman.

    July 26, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Steveo

    Taking NO personal responsibility, huh? Sounds like she had no idea she had no obligation to continue the chats! Yet she did and did so willingly!

    July 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. leah

    What is she doing there, shopping a book? Who would buy it – other aspiring trailer trash dropouts who think her flourescent lipstick and red neck tan are cool?

    Anthony Weiner is a mentally ill, sick person. Ms. Leathers is ignorant and a typical example of how dumbed down pockets of this country have become.

    July 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Haha

    "some of which included lewd photographs of Weiner"

    hehe..hahahhahahah! And miss, you knew he was married; stop bringing attention to yourself.

    July 26, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Jeff Greene

    We have all read the book, I know Anthony Wiener has. Why would he do this to his wife? Gee whiz. I feel bad for her, and what a disappointment Mr. Wiener has turned out to be. Some might say, that he's a fraud-what a shame. He should pull out ( no pun intended) of the NYC Mayoral contest, he's too stupid to hold public office, and his wife should consider her options

    July 26, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |

    the defense of 'it wasn't my fault' is being used again. She has as big a problem as Mr. Weiner if she engages in that activity.

    July 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Whatastretch

    Both are adults both want their 15 minutes and in this day and any age they both know right and wrong. CNN stop giving these two air time.

    July 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Durundal

    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)

    I wonder, she strikes me as being basically nothing more than a tripmine – a nobody looking to go out with her 15 minutes of fame, and more than willing to take someone down to do so. My gosh, she should move on to michael moore next

    July 26, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Dana

    Any woman who engages in explicit chats with a married man is not worth a word in any news portal. She is a disgrace to womanhood. Any man who cheats on their wife is not worth a breath at all. Morality and ethics these days are forgotten notions.

    July 26, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. budshot

    Two very stupid people.

    July 26, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Anonymous

    She's really enjoying all this attention, methinks!

    July 26, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. jonathan

    Manipulated? Hahahahahaha. You mean like leading a guy on, encouraging him to talk dirty to you, send you dirty pics, etc. and then selling the conversation and your story to the media? That is the truly manipulative part of this story.

    We have no idea about the nature of his relationship with his wife. What he does in his bedroom is his business, not ours. You wouldn't want the public knowing every detail of your private life. Anybody who says they don't do anything embarrassing behind closed doors is full of it. We all have things we wouldn't want the whole world to know.

    July 26, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |

    What won't MS HUMA ABEDIN do, to become the First Lady of NY... If sex does the trick, it is obviously more important to
    be the political wife, advisor, etc. Her own ambitions, will cause her problems forever !


    July 26, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Vic

    IWeiner is not perfect and we are not perfect. he is a public figure that has humiliated himself. his wife stands besides him and forgives him and for whatever reason it is between them not the public. this woman comes on air to expose weiner seems to me she is no good herself and wants to be the home wrecker. it takes 2 to tango so she is at fault as well. if she was shy about any pictures or sex messages she could have told him to not send the pictures... but instead she was entertained by it. she doesnt even seem to look innocent while telling her story and sobbing and apologizing to weiner's wife. the woman needs therapy herself

    July 26, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. erichx101x

    At first, I thought it to be very odd that Weiner would be running for Mayor of New York. Now, it's crystal clear. His political celebrity is what fuels his fan base of wayward women online. Without it, he could simply fade away over time, and he's definitely not ready for that. Being Mayor of New York = a bounty female groupies at his disposal.

    July 26, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. DRJJJ

    If your own wife can't trust you, we can't either-NO BRAINER! Go find another job in the private sector!

    July 26, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Jon

    Beauty is only skin deep. Stupid is to the bone.

    July 26, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. TC Williams

    Halliburton just plead guilty to destroying evidence from the Deep Water Horizon disaster in 2010, and this is front page news.

    July 26, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. MichaelK

    Oh PLEASE.. you arent some victim here.

    July 26, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. oooooo yes

    I wonder kind of innocent sunday school pics she replied with?

    July 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Stellar17

    She knew he was married and yet she engaged in these exchanges with him and she thinks he is a bad guy. What is wrong with her. If you don't respond to messages, end of story and how did the messages become public knowledge? Another one who wants her 15 minutes of fame, great, but who wants to be outed for this kind of behavior, she must be nuts.

    July 26, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Laura

    Give me a break!!! This is exactly what she wanted.

    July 26, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. karl from az

    And she has the right to vote: Truly frightening!

    July 26, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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