NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is responding to a published report alleging he carried on an online relationship with a 15-year-old girl and that he knew she was underage at the time.
The report appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail and claimed that Weiner sent the girl shirtless photos of himself and more graphic messages.
The Daily Mail reported that Weiner carried on a monthslong online relationship with the teen, starting in January. The two allegedly traded sexually charged messages.
Weiner told CBS2 the person who made the claims to the Daily Mail has admitted it was a hoax.
Weiner offered this response to the article: “I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent,” he said. “I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I hurt. While I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in this position. I am sorry.”
The girl told the Daily Mail she told her father and a teacher about the relationship last spring.
Weiner gave The Associated Press an email, purportedly written by the girl to her teacher, in which she recanted her story.
“Our online chats were never inappropriate,” the email said. “I wanted to publish my story. He was the best candidate to pin the story to. The story needed a hoax to ride on.”
The girl told the Daily Mail she wrote the email at Weiner’s request but never sent it to the teacher.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who was formerly the state’s attorney general, weighed in on Wednesday.
“I’ve read the reports,” Cuomo said. “And let me say this, if the reports are true, it’s possibly criminal and it is sick.”
State law makes it a felony to knowingly send minors “harmful” online messages or pictures involving nudity or sexual conduct or ask them to engage in sexual acts or performances.
Last month, Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, announced her separation from Weiner. The separation occurred after photos of another sexting scandal appeared in the New York Post.
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 in the wake of a sexting scandal. In 2013, he mounted a failed bid for mayor.
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