Well, what do you know? The age of “oversharing” has claimed another victim. It appears the trusty old “It Wasn’t Me!” Defense didn’t work as well for New York Congressman Anthony Weiner as it did for reggae legend Shaggy, who originally coined the phrase. The political work week got off to a bang (Pardon the pun…) on Monday, as a “deeply ashamed” Weiner tearfully admitted having at least six online sexual relationships with women he met over the Internet.
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Weiner and his new wife Huma, the right-hand woman of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have been the subject of Watercooler Gossip on Capitol Hill for more than a week. The couple first made headlines when the disgraced Democratic tried to TwitPic a picture of his boxer-clad “Barney” to a pretty Seattle college student. Instead, Weiner ended up publicly Tweeting the humiliating snap. Weiner later claimed that the incident was the work of an Internet hacker. Uh-Huh.
It was a story the politician stuck with through a host of interviews, including a memorable one with MSNBC earlier this month. Only after conservative bloggers with BigGovernment.com got their Hot Little Hands on five more incriminating images of Weiner did the congressman call the 27-minute afternoon press conference, where he spilled his guts. The latest images came from Meagan Broussard — a 26-year-old single mother from Texas who provided ABC News with dozens of photos, emails, Facebook messages and cellphone call logs that she says chronicle a sex-charged electronic relationship with Weiner, 46, that began on April 20 and lasted a month. Broussard says Weiner pursued her after she “Liked” a video of one of his speeches on Facebook.
“I don’t think he has any control over what he’s doing in this area,” Broussard tells ABC News. “I don’t think someone can be that open in that amount of time. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he’s got issues just like everybody else. Everyone’s standards are different, but to be elected to Congress and sit there all day on Facebook and chatting?”
Weiner denies using government funds, phones, or computers to conduct his online affairs, which he says typically began on Facebook. The aspiring mayor of The Big Apple has refused to resign as New York’s representative, ending his 20 year career in politics. Weiner’s defiance has prompted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to call for an investigation into the scandal being dubbed “Weinergate.”
Noticably absent from today’s press conference was Weiner’s 34-year-old wife, Huma Abedin. Insiders say she’s kept a brave face publicly in the days since her husband’s behavior drug them both into this public scandal. Huma married Weiner just over a year ago and has served as the Secretary of State’s aide since 1996, when she came aboard as an intern for the then-First Lady. Former President Clinton once referred to Abedin as his “second daughter.” The high-profile beauty, born in Michigan and raised in Saudi Arabia, is the daughter of an Indian scholar father and Pakistani academic mother. Huma was named TIME Magazine’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars of American Politics” last fall and was profiled in a 2007 issue of Vogue Magazine. This isn’t the first time Huma has seen a sex scandal unfold before her eyes. She worked at The White House in the late ’90s when The Clintons were left shamefaced by the now-infamous Monica Lewinsky Scandal.