Former New York congressman and mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner developed an online relationship and allegedly exchanged sexually explicit texts with a 15-year-old high school sophomore, according to a Daily Mail report published Wednesday.
The Daily Mail declined to name the teenager because she is a minor. Text and Facebook messages that the girl shared with the Mail allegedly show that Weiner was told that the teenager attended high school and that it would be “illegal” for her to go out with older men.
According to the Mail, the teenager reached out to Weiner on Jan. 23 over Twitter. She told him, “We should skype sometime,” and he responded, “Yes.” Then Weiner asked where she went to school and she responded with the name of her high school and joked “now I’m going to be on dateline” in apparent reference to the canceled TV series To Catch a Predator. Weiner responded, “Lost me there.”
On Jan. 24, the conversation moved to Facebook and the student told Weiner she liked older men but couldn’t date them because it would be “illegal.” Weiner allegedly responded, “well if anyone would get the wrong impression we should say goodbye now.”
But the conversations continued and soon turned explicit. The then-51-year-old Weiner allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself, made repeated references to being “hard,” and made comments about imagining her naked.
From the Mail:
In many of the messages, they discussed Weiner’s trips to the gym and love of hockey, and the girl’s school activities and her newly acquired learner’s permit. But in a number of them, Weiner steered the conversation toward sex.
’I thought of you this am. Hard,’ he wrote in one.
The girl asked if she was the reason.
’Yes. And the solution,’ responded Weiner, adding an emoji image of squirting water.
’Your body is pretty insane,’ he told her at another point.
When the girl told Weiner she’d just gotten home from the gym, he wrote back, ‘Hard. Again’.
The teenager told the tabloid that that during Skype conversations, Weiner asked her to masturbate, asked her to dress in a “schoolgirl” outfit, and described rape fantasies.* She also alleges that, when she eventually told her father and teacher about the relationship:
’[Weiner] wanted me to email my dad and my teacher and tell them that was I said was false,’ she said. ‘That the conversations were appropriate and were never inappropriate, and he was very helpful.’
The teenager’s father, who the Mail also did not name, said he wasn’t reporting the exchanges to the police because his daughter had suffered from depression and had asked him not to go to authorities.
The website said that Weiner “did not deny exchanging ‘flirtatious’ messages with the teen,” and Weiner himself issued this statement:
I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent. I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I have hurt.
Weiner—whose political career was repeatedly felled by previous sexting scandals—and his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, separated last month after the New York Post reported on another sexting scandal, in which Weiner had texted a photo of his lower torso and crotch to a woman while his son was with him in bed.
The teenager in the Mail report characterized the relationship with Weiner as a “romantic” one and said it ended in July. “After seeing what he did with his son having him in the picture that was released, I think that he’s very disgusting and he needs help,” she said.
Weiner also sent the Mail a letter the teenager had allegedly written to him that he said showed he “could have been the subject of a hoax.” In it, she wrote:
I am worried about you. You are messaging anyone that flirts with you online. I am 15 years old. You got catfished by a dude! It will only get worse. It’s time to retire. I want you to know that I’m not releasing the story for money. I am doing this to teach you a lesson. I want you to get help. I don’t care if you hate me. I don’t hate you, I care about you very much. I think this story will help you become a better person. I hope at least.
I am also worried about myself. I talk with a lot of men online. I am fifteen years old! I catfish people, including you. I think it’s time that I retire too. I think that by releasing this story I am teaching myself a lesson as well. I need to get help. I hate myself. I am trying to make this story into something positive. In order for a flashlight to work properly it requires a battery. The battery requires a negative and a positive, the negative is always larger.. It doesn’t have to be that way. Sorry, I’m not sorry. I wish you the best!
*Correction, Sept. 21, 2016: This post originally misidentified the publisher of the Weiner story as a British tabloid and newspaper. DailyMail.com is a U.S. website.