Sex scandal front-runner for New York mayor won't quit
Anthony Weiner, the Democratic front-runner in the race to be New York mayor, defied mounting calls to quit as the woman at the centre of his latest sex scandal was identified as a 23-year-old campaign organiser for Barack Obama.
The woman, Sydney Leathers, a Democrat activist from Indiana, denounced the former congressman for his "lies" in scathing comments to The Dirty, a gossip website, which exposed their raunchy online exchanges.
Mr Weiner (48) resigned from Congress in June 2011 after admitting "sexting" six women, including one aged 21. As he announced his candidacy for mayor earlier this year, he insisted that his problems were behind him.
However, as he maintained his campaign schedule yesterday, New Yorkers heard tawdry tales of duplicity from the woman scorned following a steamy cyber affair that Mr Weiner initiated under the alias Carlos Danger.
"He's lying when he acts like he has changed," Miss Leathers told The Dirty. "It's important to reiterate that this happened with him after his first scandal, so all of his campaign promises about being a changed man are absolute lies."
Nik Richie, editor of The Dirty, said the website would publish "new and embarrassing" details about the relationship in coming days.
At the other end of the media landscape, 'The New York Times' weighed in with a scathing editorial.
"The serially evasive Mr Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from the cameras, off the web and out of the race for mayor," it said.
The paper delivered its damning verdict hours after Mr Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, appeared at a joint press conference where he insisted his online shenanigans were behind him. Miss Abedin, Hillary Clinton's most trusted aide, said she loved and forgave him.
Miss Leathers, who worked on Mr Obama's election campaign in Indiana and once listed Mr Weiner as a political "hero", has not responded to requests for comment since being identified. But Mr Richie gave some details of her version of events to 'The New York Times'.
She first contacted Mr Weiner via Facebook to express her disappointment that he had resigned from Congress, but he soon steered their exchanges from politics.
Using social media accounts in the name of Carlos Danger, he bombarded her with explicit messages, including a photo of his penis, and repeatedly asked for racy pictures of her.
Mr Weiner reportedly told Miss Leathers that he loved her, talked of obtaining an apartment in Chicago where they could consummate their relationship and said he could help her find work with a political website.
Before these revelations, he appeared to be heading for political redemption in this year's race to become New York's next mayor, leading polls for the Democratic nomination.
He asked voters for a second chance and promised them he was a changed man who had learnt his lessons, campaigning with his wife at his side.
Although he had acknowledged that other pictures might surface, he had given no indication that he had continued to indulge in his behaviour after the 2011 scandal.
But the timeline now emerging is damning. The messages from Carlos Danger were at their most intense last July, the same month in which Mr Weiner and Miss Abedin posed for 'People' magazine with their seven-month-old son for a "rehabilitation" piece.
"Anthony has spent every day since (the scandal) trying to be the best dad and husband he can be," she said. "I'm proud to be married to him." As those words appeared, he was also dispatching sexually explicit emails to Miss Leathers. (© Daily Telegraph, London)