NBC 4 New York
New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admits Tuesday that he engaged in explicit online affairs even after he resigned from Congress, after a gossip website posted what it said is evidence of one of those relationships. The married former Democratic congressman speaks at a press conference, alongside his wife Huma Abedin.
New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner stood with his wife Tuesday and admitted that he engaged in explicit online affairs even after he resigned from Congress, after a gossip website posted what it said is evidence of one of those relationships.
The married former Democratic congressman spoke at a press conference, alongside wife Huma Abedin, after news reports about the alleged affair, which he is said to have carried on under the name Carlos Danger. The woman in that affair was not identified.
"Some of these things happened before my resignation, some of them happened after," he said.
Without addressing specifics, Weiner -- who is leading in some Democratic primary polls -- said some details in the new reports were true, and some were not. He vowed he was staying in the race and said he was surprised that more reports about his online adventures had not come out sooner; the primary is Sept. 10.
Weiner said the sexually explicit behavior he engaged in was wrong, and that he was fortunate his wife had given him another chance. He resigned in June 2011.
Abedin spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time about her husband's online affairs, saying "our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and downs."
"It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony," she added. "It was not an easy choice, in any way, but I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage."
Her husband, she said, "made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned form Congress, and after. But I do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage."
"So really what I want to say is: I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward," she said.
The newly revealed correspondence was posted Monday by the gossip website The Dirty.
The woman told The Dirty she was 22 when she began chatting with Weiner on the social networking site Formspring. She said their online relationship lasted for six months.
She claimed 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 exchanged nude photos and engaged in frequent phone sex.
She said he later asked her to destroy the evidence of their chats.
Weiner told NBC 4 New York in April, as he was weighing a mayoral bid, that there could be more revelations about his 2011 sexting scandal, which began when he accidentally tweeted an explicit photo of himself.
"Some things may come out that are true," he said at the time. "Some things are not. ... Basically, New Yorkers know the story. I did it. I did it with multiple people. These things were wrong and inappropriate, and I never should have been dishonest about it. They played out in the most public and embarrassing way possible. And that’s it."
Weiner's wife has played a large and increasing role in his mayoral campaign.
Abedin, a longtime adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urged Weiner to run for office, has led his campaign fundraising and recently made her debut on the campaign trail. Two weekends ago, she walked hand-in-hand with Weiner as they talked to voters on a Harlem street.
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 — 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.
At a packed mayoral forum hosted by the Gay Men's Health Crisis after the press conference, many in attendance didn't seem bothered by the new chapter in Weiner's sexting scandal.
"There are requirements to get on the ballot, he met those requirements, and I think the public will say what they need to say about it," said forum host Janet Weisberg.
"Out of all the candidates, he was the one that really kind of rose to the top with his answers to all the questions," voter Mike Camacho said of Weiner's statements at the forum.
But others outside the event felt they couldn't allow 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."