Weiner under pressure: Scandal-hit New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admits lewd online conversations

Former Congressman rejects calls from rival campaigns to withdraw from race

The race for New York mayor was given an unexpected jolt of a sexual-cyber nature last night after former Congressman Anthony Weiner acknowledged that new media reports detailing lewd online conversations between him and a young woman who is not his wife are at least partially true.

In recent weeks, Mr Weiner has led some polls among candidates competing to replace Michael Bloomberg whose third term in office is drawing to a close. That he seemed genuinely to pose a threat to the longtime favourite, sitting City Council chairwoman Christine Quinn, was being seen as political rising from the ashes. Mr Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after a first batch of suggestive online communications with several women was unearthed.

Supporters of Mr Weiner, who had long been a rising star in the Democratic Party and whose wife was a close aide to Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State, had clearly been hoping that the scandal was behind him and his political rehabilitation was in its final stages.  The surfacing of a fresh batch of explicit correspondence puts all that in doubt, however.  Their existence was first reported by a website specializing in gossip called thedirty.com.

Last night, Mr Weiner rejected calls from rival campaigns to withdraw from the race. But he did not attempt to deny the reports. “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,” he said. “While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question what I did was wrong.”

Political observers said a key factor is determining whether his contacts with this new woman occurred after his resignation from Congress which would indicate that he had not learned his lesson or has some sort of compulsion. The new woman, who has not been identified, has reportedly claimed that the cyber-relationship indeed began only one year ago and lasted six months.  That, if true, would seem to spell trouble.

“This behavior is behind me,” Mr. Weiner said in his news release last night. “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.”

At a hastily and packed news conference, Mr Weiner again insisted that he had put all such behavior behind him after deciding to run for mayor.  His wife, Huma Abedin, stood by him, conceding her husband had “made some horrible mistakes,” but that she has forgiven him and believes in him.

But the pressure for him to withdraw may build. Republican candidate John Catsimatidis blasted the former Congressman saying: “The Mayor of New York City should be a leader that all the residents of our city, especially our children, can look up to. Anthony Weiner should do what is right for his family and our city and drop out of the race for mayor so we can end this soap opera.”

Mr Weiner is not the only political figure seeking redemption from public sin.  Two weeks ago former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer unexpected jumped into the race for city comptroller, who effectively controls the purse strings, hoping to draw a line under his unhappy experience resigning from office repeated visits to a high-priced prostitute in Washington DC leaded to the newspapers.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game