Anthony Weiner caught in another sexting scandal

Associated Press
New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner glances at his wife, Huma Abedin, as she speaks during a news conference at the Gay Men's Health Crisis headquarters, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in New York. The former congressman says he's not dropping out of the New York City mayoral race in light of newly revealed explicit online correspondence with a young woman. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
.

View gallery

NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Weiner found himself caught in another sexting scandal Tuesday like the one that destroyed his congressional career, but stood side-by-side with his wife to say he won't drop out of the race for mayor of New York.

"This is entirely behind me," Weiner said at an evening news conference, hours after the gossip website The Dirty posted X-rated text messages and a crotch shot that it said the former congressman exchanged with a woman after he left office.

Weiner admitted sending a woman sexually explicit photos and messages and acknowledged the activity took place as recently as last summer, more than a year after he resigned from the House in disgrace for the same sort of behavior with at least a half-dozen women.

But with his wife, Huma Abedin, smiling shyly an arm's length away from him, he said: "I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they are willing to still continue to give me a second chance."

Weiner then turned the microphone over to his wife, who did not appear with him at the June 2011 news conference when he stepped down from Congress over a scandal that began with a Twitter photo of his bulging underpants.

This time, Abedin reaffirmed her support for her husband and said the sexting matter is "between us."

"I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward," said Abedin, a longtime adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Abedin said her husband had made some "horrible mistakes both before he resigned from Congress and after" but insisted the two of them discussed "all of this" before he jumped into the mayor's race in May.

On Tuesday, Harper's Bazaar released an excerpt from a piece Abedin wrote explaining that although she doesn't like the limelight, she decided to campaign for him because he's "a better man" now.

The latest disclosures could severely test voters' willingness to forgive Weiner, who has said he spent his two years in political exile since the scandal trying to make things right with his wife and earn redemption.

The New York Times and three of his rivals for mayor called on him to drop out of the race.

The 48-year-old Democrat has been near the top of most polls since his late entry into the campaign.

"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have," said Weiner, who added that he was surprised that more had not previously surfaced.

After the news conference, Weiner went directly to a mayoral forum on gay men's issues and was warmly received.

The woman with whom he exchanged the messages was not identified by The Dirty. She told the website that she was 22 when she began chatting with Weiner on a social networking site. She said their online relationship began in July 2012 and lasted six months.

She said that Weiner used the alias "Carlos Danger" for their exchanges but that she knew she was talking to the former congressman.

The exchanges posted on The Dirty consist of sexually explicit fantasizing about various sex acts. At one point, the man reported to be Weiner wrote, "I'm deeply flawed."

The woman said Weiner promised to help her get a job at the political website Politico and suggested meeting in a Chicago condo for a tryst.

The woman said she and Weiner also exchanged nude photos of themselves and engaged in phone sex. The Dirty ran a pixelated photo of what it said were Weiner's genitals.

"This was a bad situation for me because I really admired him. Even post scandal, I thought he was misunderstood. Until I got to know him. I thought I loved him. Pretty pathetic," the woman was quoted as telling the website.

She said he later asked her to destroy the evidence of their chats. She insisted that she never had sex with Weiner or received any payment from him.

The woman said her relationship with Weiner "fizzled" in November 2012. She said she last heard from him this past April, when his intention to run for mayor was revealed in a New York Times Magazine profile.

Weiner said that not every allegation made by the woman was true but that he was not going to dispute specific claims. The lawyer for The Dirty's founder, Nik Ritchie, said his client was ill and would not comment Tuesday.

Weiner said his last sexting exchange happened "sometime last summer, I think," after he and his wife sat down for a glowing People magazine profile in which they said their troubles were behind them.

Abedin, who was pregnant when the original sexting scandal broke and gave birth months later, has played a large and visible role in his mayoral campaign.

Two weekends ago, she walked hand-in-hand with Weiner as they talked to voters on a Harlem street.

In an editorial posted online Tuesday, the New York Times urged Weiner to drop out of the race, saying 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."

Three of his rivals for mayor — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Councilman Sal Albanese, both Democrats, and billionaire John Catsimatidis, a Republican — also called on Weiner to quit the race.

"Enough is enough," de Blasio said. "The sideshows of this election have gotten in the way of the debate we should be having about the future of this city."

Another mayoral hopeful, city Comptroller John Liu, stopped short of calling for Weiner to bow out, but suggested his "propensity for pornographic selfies is a valid issue for voters."

The other leading Democratic candidates, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, did not immediately comment.

The disclosure suddenly puts Weiner's indiscretions, judgment and candor back in the forefront of his campaign, political analysts said.

"It makes it tougher to believe this is behind him," said Democratic former state Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, now a political consultant.

Some voters have said they felt Weiner had atoned for his past and were willing to give him a second chance. But a third chance, for misbehavior that occurred after his resignation?

"I think he had a chance to redeem himself and if he did it twice, he really betrayed the public's trust again," said Jeremy Green, a New Yorker. "I think he's past the point of no return for New Yorkers."

___

Reach Jonathan Lemire on Twitter at: @JonLemire

Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz, Meghan Barr, Jacob Pearson and Deepti Hajela contributed to this story from New York.

View Comments (914)

Recommended for You

  • Luggage piece found on French island near possible MH370 debris

    Part of a bag was found Thursday on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion not far from plane debris which has fuelled speculation it may be from missing flight MH370. "The piece of luggage was here since yesterday but nobody really paid attention," said Johnny Begue, a member of a local…

    AFP
  • Russia reassures Israel over Iran nuclear deal

    Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the deal on Iran's nuclear program would improve security in the Middle East and guaranteed that Tehran would not acquire nuclear arms. Israel plans to lobby the U.S. Congress not to approve the…

    Reuters38 mins ago
  • Chicago man cleared after 17 years in prison shot dead

    CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man who served 17 years in prison for murder before being cleared of the crime has been shot and killed almost three years after being released from prison, police said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Family Pet-Sitter Helps Herself To Homeowner's Possessions

    DEAR ABBY: A trusted and beloved family member who takes care of my cats -- and therefore has a key to my house -- has been stealing things like cleaning supplies, knickknacks, family pictures, etc. Most of them have little monetary value. But imagine my surprise when I spotted some of my missing…

    Dear Abby
  • Eight family members decapitated in north Mexico

    Eight people from the same family, including two minors, were kidnapped by masked gunmen and their decapitated bodies were found days later in northern Mexico, authorities said Wednesday. The bodies were found after a ninth member of the Martinez family escaped Sunday's abduction near Casa Quemada,…

    AFP
  • An American Dentist Killed Zimbabwe’s Famous Lion

    Cecil the lion, a famous black-maned resident of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, died at the hands of an American dentist, conservationists claim. “Mr. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn't kill him,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in…

    TakePart.com
  • Hidden Security Cameras Are Shocking Surprise For Daughter

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old woman in college who still lives with my parents. I found out something several weeks ago that's bothering me, and I need advice badly. Years ago, after a robbery, my parents installed security cameras outside our house. I knew about them because they were visible. But…

    Dear Abby
  • View

    Creeping vines, abandoned village (20 photos)

    Just a handful of people still live in a village on Shengshan Island east of Shanghai that was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen. Every day hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, making their way on narrow footpaths past tumbledown houses overtaken by vegetation. The remote village, on one of…

    Yahoo News
  • Dashcam catches off-duty cop threatening to put 'hole in head' of driver

    Technically Incorrect: A Massachusetts driver makes a wrong turn. What happens next, all filmed on his dashcam, has led to an investigation. And yes, it's now on YouTube.

    CNET
  • Taliban disavows Afghan peace talks after leader declared dead

    By Kay Johnson KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban's official spokesman disavowed peace talks with the Afghan government on Thursday, throwing fledgling efforts to negotiate an end to 14 years of war into disarray. The statement came a day after the Afghan government said that Mullah Omar, the elusive…

    Reuters
  • Trump leads Republicans, but Democrats thump him: poll

    Bombastic US billionaire Donald Trump handily leads all fellow Republicans in the 2016 presidential race, though Hillary Clinton and other Democrats trump him in head-to-head matchups, a poll said Thursday. Trump plunged into the crowded Republican nomination battle last month, and has since…

    AFP
  • Police Officer Involved in Deadly Cincinnati Shooting of Samuel DuBose Indicted for Murder, Dismissed from Force

    "I'm treating him like a murderer," prosecutor Joseph Deters said during a news conference when describing the warrant out for a police officer who killed Samuel DuBose, 43, earlier this month. Footage released today from a police officer's body cam lasts about 10 minutes and shows the shooting.…

    ABC News
  • Play

    Custom truck built by father and son stolen in Lemoore

    A Lemoore man is on the hunt for his stolen pick-up truck. The classic custom ride holds significant sentiment to its owner, who built the truck with his late father.

    KFSN – Fresno
  • Boko Haram 'slits throats of 10 fishermen' near Lake Chad

    Boko Haram Islamists slit the throats of 10 fishermen in villages near Baga on the shores of the Lake Chad in northeastern Nigeria, a leading fisherman and a resident said Thursday. "On Monday around 4 pm (1500 GMT), Boko Haram attacked three villages on the shores of Lake Chad where they…

    AFP
  • Buffalo Snow Pile Refuses to Melt Eight Months After Snowstorm

    The sun is shining, swimming pools are open and there’s still a giant snow pile in New York.The calendar says it’s almost August, but an estimated 12-feet-tall snow pile still lingers in Buffalo, New York from a snow storm eight months ago.“The original problem started back in November,” New York…

    ABC News
  • Internet mauls dentist accused of illegal kill of popular lion

    Technically Incorrect: Walter Palmer, a dentist in Minnesota, has his Yelp entry attacked by those not fond of his allegedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

    CNET
  • Independent media battle on in Putin's Russia

    By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexei Venediktov, one of Russia's most prominent journalists, does not go out without a bodyguard and does not answer mobile phone calls for fear of being tracked. Such precautions do not seem out of place in a country where at least 17 journalists have been…

    Reuters