WASHINGTON – Former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner estimates he had illicit online relationships with six to 10 women while in Congress and no more than three after resigning, a revelation that comes as a new poll shows his support dropping.
“I don’t believe I had any more than three,” Weiner told reporters when asked how many women he sent explicit messages to after stepping down in 2011. As for the number of women he corresponded with inappropriately while in office, Weiner said, “Six to 10, I suppose — but I can’t tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider appropriate or not.”
In his most detailed description of his questionable behavior so far, Weiner admitted that he regularly engaged in sexually explicit online relationships with young women he did not know.
The New York City mayoral candidate said he is continuing to get professional help for his behavior but said he does not consider his online dalliances an addiction.
He spoke Thursday at a soup kitchen in Brooklyn, where he hoped to highlight his plan to create a “nonprofit czar” for the city. But that initiative was overshadowed by Weiner’s more detailed account of his history.
Weiner resigned in 2011 after a first round of the explicit messages became public. After less than two years in political exile, Weiner entered the mayoral race seeking redemption and forgiveness from the voters, and polls showed him to be running competitively. All of that was upended this week when The Dirty, a gossip website, posted messages from a woman who said she and Weiner had an online relationship that began in the summer of 2012. The Dirty posted an uncensored crotch shot claiming that it was one that Weiner sent to the woman. It is not clear how the messages emerged.
The woman has been identified as Sydney Leathers, a 23-year-old Indiana woman who says she engaged in an online relationship with the former congressman for six months in 2012.
“Anthony Weiner is responsible for his downfall,” Leathers told “Inside Edition” on Thursday. “I feel sick about it. I’m disgusted by him. He is not who I thought he was.”
It was Weiner who shifted their relationship from professional to sexual, she said. When he decided to run for mayor, Leathers told the show, Weiner asked her to erase all of their Facebook conversations.
Meanwhile, a Marist-NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found Weiner tied for second place among registered and likely Democratic voters. City Council President Christine Quinn is once again in the lead.
“Weiner has lost his lead, and his negatives are at an all-time high,” pollster Lee Miringoff said.