Oy vey, it was his weiner.
A teary-eyed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D–Sheepshead Bay) unloaded his personal junk — and his apparent compulsion for sexting and sending sexually charged photographs of himself to female fans — to the nation on Monday afternoon as the 2013 mayoral hopeful admitted to not only tweeting a racy photo of his groin to a Seattle college student, but to having lewd online relationships with at least five other women.
“The picture was of me and I sent it,” Weiner, 46, explained, referring to the crotch shot that was accidentally broadcast to his army of 50,000-plus Twitter followers on May 27 and quickly became a nation-wide scandal known as “Weinergate.”
“It was a terrible mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
On Monday, at least, he was thinking damage control: Weiner’s massive mea culpa at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan came just hours just after the right wing website www.biggovernment.com released bare-chested snapshots that the congressman allegedly sent another young woman through a Yahoo account on May 20 — three months after upstate Rep. Chris Lee (R–Buffalo) ended his career after posting a similar picture on a Craigslist dating site.
In the days after his Twitter followers received his lewd “member item,” Weiner claimed that someone hacked his Twitter account and sent the photo without his knowledge.
“Tivo shot. FB hacked. Is my blender going to attack me next?” he tweeted.
He remained tense but occasionally jovial during the first few days of the scandal, sticking to the hacked account story, though he admitted last Wednesday that he “could not say with certitude” that the crotch shot was his.
Reporters kept digging, and Weiner’s demeanor quickly morphed into ashen-faced silence for the rest of the week. He also missed several key engagements, including the annual Celebrate Israel parade and a gay pride march in Queens on Sunday.
But Weiner’s stiff upper lip finally snapped on Monday — and reporters got an earful:
• He admitted to having a brief online relationship with the Seattle co-ed, 21-year-old Gennette Cordova, before sending her the soft-core tweet. He said he had meant to send it to her privately, but accidentally sent it to all of his Twitter followers.
• Cordova wasn’t Weiner’s first cyber-dalliance. The seven-term congressman admitted to sending several lewd texts and e-mails to at least five other women on his Facebook page over the last three years, but claims he never met any of them in person.
• He continued to “sext” attractive young women even after he married Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, last year. Abedin, 35, wasn’t at Monday’s press conference, but Weiner said his betrothed knew about his pre-wedding cyber romps. But she didn’t learn about his more-recent online flirtations until Monday morning, the congressman said.
“My wife thought it was dumb,” he said. “She’s not happy.”
She’s likely feeling stronger emotions than mere displeasure, now that the full story is trickling out.
For example, one of the women in question, Nevada Democratic volunteer Lisa Weiss, had such an explicit online exchange with Weiner on March 16 that it cannot be printed here (though you can read it on RadarOnline.com). In short, it involved her discussing her oral sex prowess, and Weiner responding in graphic terms how excited he was.
And ABC News reported that in another exchange with a Texas woman, Meagan Broussard, Weiner sent explicit pictures — one topless shot even had framed photos of Weiner and his wife, and Weiner with Bill Clinton in the background. The woman sent back racy photos, and Weiner responded by sending a picture of himself on a bed, his eyes suggesting something between sultriness and neediness.
• In the press conference, Weiner couldn’t put a finger on why he’s such a horn dog.
“I don’t have any excuses,” he confessed. “I wasn’t drunk. I’m not on drugs. This was me doing a dumb thing, doing it repeatedly and lying about it.”
• He claims none of his libidinal-laced missives were sent on his office phone or computer, so he won’t be resigning.
“I accept responsibility for what I have done,” he said. “People who want to draw a conclusion about me from this are free to do so. I represented my district for 13 years and have been in politics for 20, so I hope my constituents can see this in the light it’s in — that this was a regrettable mistake.”
The jury — Weiner’s constituents — was still out in the congressman’s district by late Monday as voters were of two minds about their legislator’s cyber-sauciness.
George Skevos, an employee of the Mirage Diner on Kings Highway — where Weiner is a regular — said he wouldn’t vote for the congressman after Monday’s bombshell.
“He’s a liar,” Skevos said. “Liars promise one thing and do another.”
Daniel Abraham of Midwood agreed.
“People say it’s hard to gain somebody’s trust and it’s easy to lose it,” Abraham explained. “He basically lost all of it.”
Yet there were those who were willing to look the other way.
“We all have our little affairs,” said Mirage Diner customer Glenn Estrada. “At least he admitted it.”
Midwood resident Tara Castelli said she wasn’t fazed by Weiner’s crotch shot.
“If he’s the right man for the job, the photo doesn’t matter,” she said. “One thing has nothing to do with the other.”
Weiner’s colleagues in local government are also planning to give him a pass.
“You’ve got to feel for the guy,” said Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Mill Basin), a staunch ally of the congressman. “All we learned today was that Anthony Weiner is human and subject to the same frailties. Americans are very good at finding forgiveness for those who ’fess up and tell the truth.”
Flatbush Democratic District Leader Jacob Gold said Weiner was guilty only of was “youthful exuberance.”
“This isn’t a disqualifying factor,” said Gold. “A year from now, we’re all going to chuckle about this. Weiner’s a hard-driving, hard-working congressman — and that hasn’t changed. If this is the only misstep he’s made, then he’s a fortunate man.”
But Weiner may not make it to the polls. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–California) is calling for a House Ethics Committee investigation “to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred.”
Weiner, known in the neighborhood as the “Midwood Mouth” for his entertaining tirades on the House floor, said he would “fully cooperate with any investigation.”