Anthony Weiner, who resigned from US Congress
in 2011 after admitting he had posted pictures of his crotch on
Twitter and who now wants to be mayor of New York City, conceded
Tuesday that he continued "sexting" even after resigning.
As his wife stood nervously by, Weiner told a press conference that he would continue as a candidate for mayor of New York despite the newest revelations.
Weiner's candidacy and strong showing in the New York polls was already proving the capacity of the American voter to forgive public officials their moral transgressions.
At the start of his campaign, he warned that there may be more revelations of his misbehaviour and Weiner said he was surprised that the newest revelations had not come out sooner. The sexting occurred in August 2012, more than a year after his fall from grace.
The messages between Weiner and a young woman he met online were reported by the gossip website TheDirty.com.
"I'm sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race," Weiner said.
Weiner's wife Huma Abedin, who has worked as a close aide to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, shifted around while Weiner spoke, turning to the side, looking down then up, occasionally smiling. She was pregnant at the time of the June 2011 scandal. Their son was born in December 2011.
"I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him," Abedin said. "It was not an easy choice, but I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage ... for me, for our son, and for our family."
Weiner said he accepted total responsibility for his behaviour, and there was "no question that what I did was wrong."
"It was problematic ... destructive ... (and ) caused many stresses and strains in my marriage," he said. Referring to Abedin, he added, "She has given me a second chance."
Abedin said it had taken "a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy" to get to a place where she could forgive Weiner and forget.
The Weiner-Abedins were once a star-struck couple in Washington. Former president Bill Clinton presided at their wedding.
The New York mayor elections are in November.
Another New York politician disgraced by a sex scandal - former governor Eliot Spitzer - is also running for New York City office as comptroller. Spitzer resigned as governor in 2008 after he was caught soliciting a prostitute from a high-priced call girl service.
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