New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admitted Tuesday that he kept sending explicit text messages to a woman who is not his wife even after he was forced to resign from Congress over a “sexting” scandal. But he’s not quitting the race.
Weiner appeared Tuesday at a news conference in New York City with his wife, Huma Abedin, and told reporters he is “surprised that more things didn’t come out sooner,” but that he plans to stay in the mayoral contest in which he’s a front-runer. Abedin also addressed reporters, telling them she has forgiven Weiner and that the couple is “moving forward.”
The news conference followed revelations from a gossip website claiming to have new emails and an explicit photo sent last year from Weiner to a 22-year-old woman who said the former congressman used the alias “Carlos Danger,” to protect himself from getting caught.
A timeline and screenshots of chats taken by the women have been posted on TheDirty.com, which claims the woman began communicating with Weiner in July 2012 and that Weiner had contacted her as recently as April.
Abedin said the couple has gone through “a whole lot of therapy” and that her decision to remain with him was “not an easy choice, in any way.” But, she said, “It was worth it to stay in this marriage.”
Weiner’s wife said he “has made some horrible mistakes” and that the two discussed his dalliances before he decided to run for mayor.
Weiner said Abedin “knew all along” about his texts, and that he “told her everything.” Weiner said he is no longer texting other women.
“This is entirely behind me, and it was when I decided to get in,” the mayor’s race.
Earlier Tuesday, Weiner issued a statement, acknowledging the existence of the latest messages and that they were sent after his he was forced to resign from Congress because of such texts. But he also stated the behavior was “in the past,” and that he has already apologized to to his wife. The couple have a 19-month-old son.
Even with Abedin’s show of support, the new sexting revelations could be devastating to Weiner, who resigned June 16, 2011 after his explicit messages and photos sent to a variety of women were exposed, at first by him in an accidental Tweet sent to all his followers.
Weiner jumped into the mayoral race in May, asking New Yorkers to forgive his past behavior. He has enjoyed high poll numbers in recent weeks, leading the field of Democrats in a July 15 Quinnipiac University poll.
Here is his statement:
“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.”
According to TheDirty.com, the texts began well after his 2011 resignation, specifically on July 12 , 2012, when according to the woman, Weiner started following her on Formspring under the moniker “Dangr33.”
A month later, the woman claims, the messages from Weiner became explicit, “things were very intense,” and he offered to purchase a “sex condo” for her in Chicago.
In one Formspring message, the woman tells Dangr33, “Specifically, your health care rants were a huge turn on.”
The woman said that the relationship “began to fizzle out,” by August of 2012 but he contacted her again in April 2013 after the New York Times magazine published an extensive article about him.
“He reactivated his Facebook and asked me what I thought of it,” the woman told the website.
The woman told TheDirty she did not have physical sex with Weiner or receive any money from him, but the two talked by phone and send naked images to each other.
“I think it’s important to reiterate the fact that all of this happened with him after his first scandal, so all of his campaign promises about being a changed man are absolute lies,” the woman said on the website.
The timeline is provided by the woman and not indicated on the Formspring messages, which only show the time of day.