Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weiner vows to stay despite new explicit photos

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NEW YORK -- New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admitted Tuesday to sending additional explicit photos and texts to a woman he met online -- an exchange she says began months after he resigned from the U.S. Congress for similar behaviour.

He says he's not dropping out of the race this time.

The allegation could severely test voters' willingness to forgive Weiner, who has said he spent the two years since the scandal trying to make things right with his wife and earn redemption. Three of his rivals for mayor immediately called on Weiner to drop out of the race.

Weiner, who resigned his Congress seat in June 2011 after acknowledging having sexual conversations with at least a half-dozen women, has been near the top of most mayoral polls since his late entry into the race this spring.

"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have," said Weiner in a statement. "I want to again say that I am very sorry..."

The 48-year-old Weiner did not say when the newly revealed exchanges occurred, but he said his behaviour created "challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation."

From the beginning of his mayoral bid, Weiner has said he learned from his mistakes and his wife -- Huma Abedin, a longtime adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton -- was the driving force behind his comeback attempt.

Weiner's problems began in May 2011, when a website posted a photograph of a man's bulging underwear and said it had been sent from Weiner's Twitter account to a Seattle woman. Weiner denied he sent the photo, claiming his Twitter had been hacked. But after more women came forward and more photographic evidence emerged, Weiner admitted he lied.

He entered two years of self-imposed political exile, only to return this spring. Under a huge media spotlight, he apologized repeatedly for his behaviour in the initial days of his bid but then pivoted quickly to an issues-based campaign. He was largely well-received by voters and established himself as a favourite in the race.

The new correspondence was posted Monday by the gossip website The Dirty. The woman, who told the website she was 22 when she began chatting with Weiner on the social networking site Formspring, said their online relationship began in July 2012 and lasted for six months. She claimed Weiner used the alias Carlos Danger for their exchanges, but she knew she was talking to the former congressman.

She said Weiner promised to help her get a job at the political website Politico and suggested meeting in a Chicago condo for a tryst.

The exchanges posted on The Dirty consist of sexually explicit fantasizing about various sex acts. The woman claimed she and Weiner exchanged nude photos of themselves and engaged in frequent phone sex.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 24, 2013 A12

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