Anthony Weiner, with wife Huma Abedin, admits to new explicit messages, won't drop out
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Anthony Weiner admitted Tuesday that he engaged in a newly disclosed, sexually explicit online relationship with a woman after his resignation from Congress in 2011, but with his wife, Huma Abedin, at his side, he vowed to stay in the race to be New York's next mayor.
The extraordinary news conference, marked by his wife's public statement of forgiveness, came after a new round of lewd photos and messages emerged on a gossip website.
"I said there were more things out there," he said in the hastily arranged appearance at a midtown building where a mayoral forum was to be held. "To some degree, with 49 days left until primary day, perhaps I'm surprised that more things didn't come out sooner."
He used the pseudonym "Carlos Danger," according to the report on the website, thedirty .com. The online-only relationship began after his son, Jordan, was born in December 2011 -- and within days of a flattering family photo running in a July 20, 2012, issue of People magazine, according to the gossip website's account of the timeline described by the woman.
Weiner said, "Some of these things happened before my resignation, some of them happened after; but the fact is that that was also the time that my wife and I were working through some things in our marriage."
Weiner said Abedin already knew of his sexting recurrence before the latest disclosure.
"I told her everything, so this is something we knew going into this," he said.
Weiner insisted he has stopped such activity, sending his last sext "sometime last summer, I think." He added, "It's in our rearview mirror, but it's not far."
Abedin said: "Anthony's made some horrible mistakes . . . But I do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage."
The gossip website posted material it said Weiner had exchanged with an unidentified 22-year-old woman between July and November 2012. The messages depicted sexual banter, including his fantasizing about showering with a woman and at least one photo he sent of his penis.
Weiner said some of thedirty.com report was true and other parts weren't, but he declined to clarify.
"I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth with people who are releasing things," Weiner said, adding: "I'm prepared not to dispute anything."
The revelation marked the latest twist in a soap opera-like campaign season featuring Weiner as one of two sex-scandal-felled candidates seeking political redemption. The other is former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who in 2008 resigned after a federal investigation caught him patronizing high-priced prostitutes and who is now running for city comptroller.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the revelations would turn voters against Weiner, who has been among the front-runners in polls.
"I think it's probably 50/50 whether this is going to drag his campaign down as a whole," said Jamie Chandler, professor of political science at Hunter College.
Three rival mayoral candidates issued statements calling on him to quit the Sept. 10 Democratic primary race.
"Anthony Weiner should do what is right for his family and our city and drop out of the race for mayor so we can end this soap opera," said Republican John Catsimatidis.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said: "The sideshows of this election have gotten in the way of the debate we should be having about the future of this city. . . . I'm calling on Anthony to withdraw from this race -- for the good of the city that I know he loves as much as all of us."
Democrat Sal Albanese said: "From the moment he entered the race, I've said that Tony Weiner was unfit to serve as mayor of our great city. Today, that is clearer than ever."
The National Organization for Women-NYC also called on him to quit, calling the newly revealed sexting further evidence of Weiner's "utter lack of judgment, impulse control and honesty."
In one of the messages to the unidentified woman reported by thedirty.com, Weiner wrote: "ive found the perfect woman. gorgeous, sexy and like a bit of my crazy."
In another, he asked "what picture of me you like the most or turned you on the most."
"I'm deeply flawed," he wrote in yet another.
The woman was quoted as telling the website: "We only spoke once in December 2012, and then I didn't hear from Anthony Weiner again until April 11, 2013 when a . . . [New York Times] article about him was released. He reactivated his Facebook and asked me what I thought of it."
With Emily Ngo
and Tim Herrera