According to a gossip Web site called the Dirty, the Democratic ex-congressman, using the pseudonym “Carlos Danger,” exchanged obscene messages and nude pictures and engaged in phone sex with an unidentified woman, then 22.
In 2011, Weiner resigned his House seat so that he and his wife, a longtime aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, could “continue to heal from the damage I have caused” by his behavior.
The latest revelations suggest that Weiner was engaging in reckless, lewd behavior at the very time he was launching a public rehabilitation campaign, with a warmly lighted photo spread of the couple and their infant son in People magazine. It was accompanied by a story that quoted Abedin as saying her husband was “trying to be the best dad and husband he can be.”
Weiner’s campaign released an ambiguous statement, which he later read at the news conference, that did not dispute the woman’s version of events.
“I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have,” Weiner said. “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,” he continued, “there is no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me.”
Abedin, managing a tight smile, also spoke at the news conference, saying, “I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and, as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward.”
Abedin’s stance evoked comparison with that of her mentor, Clinton, whose steadfastness in her marriage to Bill Clinton and their joint political ambitions helped rescue her husband from the sex scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky that nearly ended his presidency.
But unlike Weiner, Bill Clinton would never be on the ballot again. And the office that Weiner is seeking is the biggest prize in New York City politics.
While it is true that pretty much anything can happen in an election — especially in New York — the latest revelations have, at a minimum, damaged the remorse-and-redemption theme that fueled Weiner’s mayoral bid.
That story line, along with his celebrity, propelled him in the polls into a dead heat with City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who was long presumed to be the front-runner to win the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.
“In many ways, things are not that different than they were yesterday,” Weiner said at the news conference.