Anthony Weiner's sexting scorecard possibly in double digits
Anthony Weiner revealed Thursday that he engaged in lewd cyber-affairs with up to three women after quitting Congress over similar misbehavior, and as many as 10 in the past five years -- the latest in a series of disclosures that have put his New York mayoral campaign into free fall.
It was one of the most damaging days for Weiner in his political comeback bid.
An NBC 4 New York / Wall Street Journal / Marist Poll conducted after the revelation he had an X-rated online relationship with a woman, Sydney Leathers, showed his support dropping sharply and his unfavorable rating at an all-time high.
Weiner denied that his serial Internet sex appetites amounted to an addiction. "I don't believe that it is. The people that I'm working with don't believe that it is," he said. Explaining that comment, his spokeswoman, Barbara Morgan, said Weiner is "in therapy."
Leathers said in an interview on the TV show "Inside Edition" that Weiner should "stop lying, stop embarrassing his wife and get help."
The day began with thedirty.com, the gossip site that broke the story, running -- unblurred for the first time -- photos of Weiner's private parts that he had sent to Leathers.
Questioned by reporters after a campaign stop at a Brooklyn soup kitchen, Weiner quantified for the first time the number of women with whom he cultivated online dalliances since leaving Congress in 2011.
"I don't believe I had any more than three," he said.
He was hazier on the overall total through the years.
"There are more than, there are, there are a few. I don't have a specific number for you," he said, grim and stumbling over his words. "It's not dozens and dozens, it's six to 10, I suppose, but I can't tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider inappropriate."
In his June 2011 confessional news conference as he tried to hang on to his House seat, he said there were "about six women over the last three years." Three more would make at least nine.
Some of those women came forward two years ago. Others shunned publicity. Leathers, from Princeton, Ind., was not in the shy category.
Weiner and Leathers expressed "love" for each other, she told "Inside Edition," but "he's not who I thought he was."
Before the affair "fizzled out," Leathers said, Weiner "got a little bit controlling with me" and "would get jealous if other men would compliment me" on Facebook.
Leathers said she felt "physically ill" as she watched Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, appear together Tuesday at a news conference, during which Abedin said she loved and forgave him.
Abedin has not reappeared at Weiner's side. Morgan said she is busy caring for the couple's 19-month-old son and working as a top aide to Hillary Clinton.
Asked about Leathers' comments Thursday night, Weiner, at a Queens event, said his former sexting partners "can say whatever it is they want."
There were new calls for Weiner to leave the race:
In Washington, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi -- who pressured Weiner to resign in 2011 -- called the behavior of Weiner and San Diego Mayor Rob Filner, who is accused of sexual harassment, "reprehensible" and "disrespectful of women." She added, "if they're clueless, get a clue, and if they need therapy, do it in private."
New York State's NAACP said Weiner should drop out of the mayoral race. "He should not wait for more photos to surface," said the group's president, Hazel Dukes.
Republican New York mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis said he fears Weiner heading up the city school system as mayor. "No parent in this city wants someone with these problems to interact with their daughters or be an example for their sons," he said.