Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is now being accused of trading inappropriate messages–including another explicit image–with a 22-year-old woman shortly after he resigned from Congress over a extramarital sexting scandal in June 2011. He has not denied the allegation.
At a news conference late Tuesday afternoon at Gay Men’s Health Crisis headquarters, an HIV-advocacy organization, in New York City, Weiner largely reiterated his earlier statement with his wife, Huma Abedin, by his side. He added that he was “surprised that more things haven’t come out sooner.”
“Some of these things happened before my resignation, some of them happened after,” Weiner said. “But the fact is that was also the time that my wife and I were working through some things in our marriage.”
Weiner said he will not withdraw from the mayoral race and will continue to campaign with his wife. “I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they’re willing to still continue to give me a second chance, and I hope that they realize in many ways what happened today was something that frankly had happened before, but it doesn’t represent all that much that is new.”
His wife, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, spoke at her first press conference and said that her husband’s resignation marked “the beginning of a time in our marriage that was very difficult and it took us a very long time to get through it.”
“It look a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony. It was not an easy choice in any way but I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage,” Abedin said.
She also admitted that her husband “made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after.”
Weiner also confirmed that he was still sending sexually explicit messages even after People magazine published a profile on him and his wife. A reporter asked him when was the last time he sent an explicit message. “Um, I can’t say exactly,” Weiner replied. “Sometime last summer, I think.”
The same reporter followed up and asked if the last message was sent after his wife told People, “It took a lot of work to get to where are are today, but I want people to know we’re a normal family.” The couple both nodded and Weiner said, “Yes, yes.”
A nightlife website, TheDirty.com, disclosed a series of lewd chat messages on Monday allegedly sent by Weiner, who used the handle “Carlos Danger,” to a woman in August 2012. The website’s founder, Nik Richie, has also published an explicit photograph and a timeline of the scandal according to the anonymous woman.
The screenshots of the conversations were taken from Facebook and the social network Formspring. Richie has said he has been in contact with the young woman. According to the Richie’s source, the woman maintained a relationship on the Internet and phone for six months after being pursued by Anthony Weiner through Facebook.
By August 2012, Weiner had promised the woman a job at Politico and a condo in Chicago, a place for them to meet. By November 2012, their “relationship began to fizzle out,” and they spoke only once in December 2012. The two did not speak until The New York Times profile of Anthony Weiner and his family was released, and he asked her what she thought of the article via Facebook.
Anthony Weiner released a statement Tuesday afternoon, a day after the sex chat messages were revealed, and admitted that some of the allegations made were true and that he had continued sexting even after his resignation in June of 2011.
“I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. 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. While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me. I’ve apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness. I want to again say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused. As my wife and I have said, we are focused on moving forward.”
After the first scandal, the disgraced former congressman shied away from the spotlight. But Weiner, hoping for a second life in politics, announced his run for New York City mayor earlier this year. The announcement was followed by a media blitz in which Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, a long-time aide to Hilary Clinton, appeared to talk openly about their family struggles surrounding the scandal.