Anthony Weiner told supporters in an email Wednesday that he won't abandon his campaign for mayor after admitting he engaged in raunchy online affairs as recently as a year ago, long after his resignation from Congress.
Weiner, who has been leading in some Democratic polls, said he owed supporters an explanation after the new report Tuesday that he carried on another online affair under the name Carlos Danger.
"These things I did, as you have read in the papers, didn't happen once. It was a terrible mistake that I unfortunately returned to during a rough time in our marriage," he wrote.
He said he has since had "some professional help, and a general reorientation" of his life.
Weiner said he had already been clear in the past that he had carried on several relationships over an extended period of time, with multiple people. But he says now he was not clear enough about the timeline.
"I regret not saying explicitly when these exchanges happened," he wrote.
He repeated the sentiment at a mayoral forum at Bronx Community College Wednesday evening.
"What I did and when I did it -- I'm sorry if I didn't say it happened at this particular moment, but it's behind me now, and all of this happened a year ago," he said.
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, and that they exchanged nude photos and engaged in frequent phone sex.
Weiner admitted Tuesday that he sent sexually explicit messages to women as recently as last summer.
"But the bottom line is that the 'news' today is about my past life," he wrote in the email Wednesday. He said he and his wife have put the painful behavior behind them.
"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."
The other leading Democrat in the race, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, said Wednesday it was his decision on whether to remain in the race, but added that Weiner has shown "a clear pattern, here, of difficulty with the truth."
"Difficulty with the truth is not a good characteristic in a mayor," she said. "New Yorkers need to know that their mayor is going to be honest and up front with them."
In an editorial Wednesday, The New York Times wrote, "the serially evasive" 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."
The Daily News wrote: "He is not fit to lead America's premier city. Lacking the dignity and discipline that New York deserves in a mayor, Weiner must recognize that his demons have no place in City Hall."
Three other 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."