Toobin will be absent from the network and The New Yorker after ‘an embarrassingly stupid mistake.’
Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN analyst and author whose career skyrocketed after his award-winning coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial, has been suspended from his job at The New Yorker and is taking a leave of absence from the news network.
Toobin was allegedly caught masturbating on a Zoom call with colleagues from The New Yorker and WNYC radio last week.
In an statement to Vice, Toobin said, “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”
Toobin said that he believed that his camera was not on.
“I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me,” he added. “I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
Vice is reporting that two people who were participating in the call said the Zoom gathering was an simulation which found the journalists debating results of the upcoming election.
One person noted that “it seemed like Toobin was on a second video call” during a breakout session, and when he returned, he lowered the camera and was seen touching his penis.
The report says that Toobin then disconnected the call and called back in, “seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see.”
Toobin has written for The New Yorker for 25 years.
The magazine released a brief statement saying, “Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended while we investigate the matter.”
Toobin’s 1997 book, “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” became the basis of a 10-episode FX American Crime Story show, the first anthology in the series, in 2016.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, won numerous accolades, including several Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe for Best Limited Series or Television Film.
Simpson himself poked fun at the situation in a short video posted on Twitter, where he said, “Daaaaamn, Jeffrey Toobin. At least Pee-Wee Herman was in an X-rated movie theater. ‘I’m just saying.”
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