[UPDATES BELOW] Well, this doesn't bode well for Anthony Weiner's uphill struggle to put his scandalous past behind him. This morning, the best the chattering class could come up with was the candidate's weight loss, which is the kind of humanizing puff piece that must have greatly pleased Team Weiner. But this afternoon, the "conversation" quickly shifted to new allegations of creepy Weiner sexting.
The source of the allegations is the sleazy gossip website The Dirty, whose anonymous source says Weiner professed his love for her throughout the first half of 2012. This would mean the alleged online flirtation happened more than a year after Weiner resigned from Congress in disgrace and sought therapy for sex addiction.
Weiner is staying above it all.
The Dirty's editor Nik Ritchie asserts, "They had a relationship for 6 months and she believed they were in love... The relationship consisted of Anthony Weiner and Anonymous sending sexually explicit pictures of each other and having sexual conversations via phone. The best part was Anthony used an alias this time thinking this would protect him. Anthony Weiner used the name 'Carlos Danger' when he would email pictures of his penis via Yahoo."
The anonymous woman, who says she was 22 and "in a bad place at the time," claims the sexually-explicit exchanges with Weiner took place over the phone, on Facebook, and the social network Formspring. She says Weiner promised to buy her a condo in Chicago for the purposes of sexual liaisons, and also promised to help get her a spot on a Politico blogging panel (SWOON!), but it seems the two never met in person. At one point the person alleged to be Weiner becomes nervous about their exchanges, and asks the woman to "hard delete all our chats here,” adding, "I’m deeply flawed."
The chats are undated, so there's no way to know when these chats took place.
And obviously, so far, there's no way to know if this is in fact Anthony Weiner.[See update below.] But a source close to the Weiner camp does confirm to the Atlantic that the candidate owns a one-eyed cat, which Weiner allegedly referred to in a chat with the anonymous woman. Now all we need is a one-armed man to run over that half-blind cat and this thing will go full David Lynch.
When Weiner launched his mayoral campaign, he did not deny the presence of more sexual skeletons boning in his closet. But as the campaign has dragged on, he has gradually been able to put the scandal behind him, until now, and recent polls suggest he has enough support to force a runoff between himself and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Weiner's spokesperson has not commented on the new allegation. We'll update if we hear back.
UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: Here's the statement from Weiner:
I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. 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, there is no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me. I've apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness. 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.
We asked Weiner's spokesperson for the approximate time frame of the online flirtation, and we'll update if we hear back. If, as the anonymous woman alleges, the sexually-charged exchanges took place in the first half of 2012, voters might have a harder time believing Weiner when he says he's put all this behind him.
UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: The unidentified woman has given The Dirty a photo she claims Weiner sent to her, showing his dick or his rod or his johnson. (The Dirty blurred it out for the good of humanity.) According to her, the communications started last summer, in July 2012, and continued through November 2012.
"We would send naked images to each other and have phone sex," the woman alleges. "Anthony Weiner would send me penis pictures from his Carlos Danger yahoo email to my Gmail. We only spoke once in December 2012, and then I didn’t hear from Anthony Weiner again until April 11, 2013 when a NYT article about him was released. He reactivated his Facebook and asked me what I thought of it."
UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Weiner will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. at Gay Men's Health Crisis [GMHC] headquarters on West 33rd Street. Expect it to be short—a mayoral forum with Weiner, Bill de Blasio, Sal Albanese, Thompson and others is scheduled to start at 5:15 in the same building.