Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner apologized Wednesday — and claimed to be the subject of a hoax — after a media outlet reported he had sent lewd messages to a 15-year-old girl.
The teen told the the Daily Mail the two exchanged messages between January and March of this year after she first sent him a private message on Twitter. The pair then used multiple social platforms — including Facebook, Skype, and Confide, an app that deletes messages once viewed — to exchange sexually charged language. The Mail did not identify the girl, citing her age.
In some of the Jan. 24 messages, Weiner, 51, told the teen he woke up "eager," was trying to "[conjure an] image" of her showering, and thought her getting dressed for the gym "[sounded] alluring."
According to the teen, Weiner allegedly used the Confide app to send one particularly explicit message about "[busting] that tight pussy."
The teen told the newspaper the two also had Skype conversations in which Weiner reportedly asked her about masturbation and requested she undress. He also allegedly shared pornographic videos with her.
Weiner and Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Clinton, announced they were separating last month after the New York Post published photos and messages he sent to another woman.
Child welfare workers opened an investigation into Weiner after one of the pictures showed the congressman’s crotch next to the couple’s young son in bed.
Reached by BuzzFeed News, Weiner said he did not wish to comment on the record beyond the statement he sent to the Mail:
I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgement 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.
While I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in this position.
I am sorry.
Weiner did provide BuzzFeed News with a copy of a May 13 email the girl sent to a teacher, which she also CC'd to him, telling the teacher she had fabricated allegations about Weiner:
I recently shared with you a story about a former congressman. I contacted Anthony Weiner.
Our online chats were never inappropriate, he was always very helpful and kind. I wanted to publish my story. He was the best candidate to pin the story to. The story needed a hoax to ride on.
Speaking of candidates the election is coming up and his wife is Hillary Clinton's chief of staff. He doesn't have any credibility, I assumed no one would question the allegations.
It was unfair to lie to you and my father. It was unfair to spread this false accusation against Anthony Weiner.
He has done nothing to deserve this. I am sorry for lying to you, I hope this doesn't affect the bond we have formed over the years.
BuzzFeed News did not receive an immediate reply after contacting the email address listed for the girl.
The teen told the Daily Mail she sent the email to a fake address — not actually one that belonged to her teacher — after feeling "pressured" to retract confessions she had made about their relationship to her father and the teacher.
The girl told the Mail she did not wish to press charges because she believes her relationship with Weiner was "consensual" and "romantic."
The US attorney for the Southern District of New York did not return a request for comment on possible investigations into Weiner's conduct. A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney declined to comment.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
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