Weiner acknowledges sending lewd photos after more surface
New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner said yesterday that he sent additional texts and lewd photos of himself to a woman over the internet, prompting at least two rivals to call for him to drop out.
The gossip website The Dirty posted correspondence between the unidentified woman and Weiner, 48, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after similar pictures sent to women surfaced. He used the name “Carlos Danger” when sending the latest images of his anatomy to a woman, the website said. The site displayed one photo taken straight down showing a man’s bare feet and strategically placed pixels.
“I said other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have,” Weiner said in a statement emailed by his campaign. “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.”
According to The Dirty, Weiner’s email correspondence with the woman began in July 2012 when she was 22 and continued for months. The woman provided the pictures to The Dirty on the promise that she would remain anonymous, the website said. Weiner’s statement didn’t say when his messages and images were sent.
He leads the pack of Democratic mayoral candidates with support from 25 percent of registered party members, compared with 22 percent for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 21 percent undecided, according to a July 15 Quinnipiac University poll. He was the last to enter the race ahead of the Sept. 10 primary.
Weiner’s problems began May 27, 2011, when his official public Twitter account posted a close-up photograph of a man’s torso in gray boxer briefs. Weiner said during a news conference at his Washington congressional office that his account had been hacked. His resignation came after he admitted at another news briefing that he had engaged in “inappropriate conversations” with six women over the previous three years, including by e- mail, telephone and on Facebook and Twitter.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, is barred by law from seeking a fourth term. Six candidates had been campaigning for about a year when Weiner joined the race May 22.
Among those running is Comptroller John Liu, who said yesterday that the timing of Weiner’s latest correspondence matters.
“It’s one thing if more photos are revealed from before he resigned,” Liu said in an interview as he emerged from a meeting of local and state officials on city finances in Manhattan. “It’s a whole different ballgame and just would be utterly shocking if they were photos taken after he had resigned two years ago.”
At least one of Weiner’s Democratic opponents, City Councilman Sal Albanese, called for him to drop out.
“From the moment he entered the race, I’ve said that Tony Weiner was unfit to serve as mayor of our great city,” Albanese said yesterday in a statement. “I’m calling for Anthony Weiner to do right by New Yorkers and withdraw from the race.”
John Catsimatidis, the billionaire grocery-store chain owner who is a Republican candidate, also said Weiner should end his campaign.
“The mayor of New York City should be a leader that all the residents of our city, especially our children, can look up to,” Catsimatidis said today in a statement. 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.”
Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor emeritus at Hunter College in Manhattan, said Weiner may be able to survive the latest scandal.
“It’s not the first time it’s happened, so people aren’t likely shocked that it happened,” Sherrill said by phone.