Watch: Anthony Weiner addresses new explicit photos and texts surfacing
WASHINGTON – Anthony Weiner was back in the scandal spotlight on Tuesday, admitting to fresh accusations of lewd online messages sent to a young woman – this time, with his wife by his side pledging her allegiance, even as he confessed to bad behaviour a year after his resignation from Congress.
Weiner, the former congressman now running for New York City mayor, said the messages were “nothing new” and were part and parcel of the many issues he’s spent the past two years working through with his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime Hillary Clinton adviser.
His 22-year-old accuser says their correspondence took place only a year ago, while Weiner, 48, was in the midst of his exile from the public eye, ostensibly as he made amends to Abedin.
The exchanges, published on the gossip website TheDirty.com, consist largely of raunchy banter about an array of sexual acts. At one point, the man reported to be Weiner wrote to his online paramour: “I’m deeply flawed.”
At a hastily arranged news conference a few hours after explicit texts and photographs emerged, a nervous-looking Abedin – usually highly protective of her privacy – took to the podium to defend her husband, who used the pseudonym Carlos Danger in some of the new exchanges.
“Anthony’s made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after, but I do strongly believe that’s between us and our marriage,” she said, adding it had required hard work and a “lot of therapy” to get past those mistakes.
“We discussed all of this before Anthony decided to run for mayor. I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward.”
Weiner, for his part, largely read from a statement he’d made earlier in the day.
“As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress,” he said.
“This behaviour 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 was peppered with questions from the packed news conference about the timing of his conduct, however, and why he’d never revealed until Tuesday that he had continued sending explicit online messages to a strange woman long after he’d resigned.
While Weiner said some of the fresh allegations were untrue, he didn’t elaborate. One exchange showed Carlos Danger suggesting buying a Chicago condo where he could meet up with his Internet friend and have sex.
Weiner insisted his wife knew of last year’s exchanges.
“As I was more and more honest with her, I told her everything,” he said.
© The Canadian Press, 2013