NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A movie that opens later this month takes us behind the scenes of Anthony Weiner’s disastrous comeback attempt.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, cameras following Weiner’s 2013 campaign for mayor were in the right place to catch the shocking second round of his sexting scandal, which seemed to finish his political career for good.
This past Monday, Weiner appeared at the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He attended with his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime advisor to Democratic presidential frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
He stepped out before the crowd, but did not speak out about the movie “Weiner.”
But in a trailer for the documentary, he is seen saying in a cellphone conversation, “This is the worst, doing a documentary on my scandal.”
Three years ago, filmmakers got unprecedented access to relentlessly tail the often hotheaded former congressman as he campaigned for Mayor.
He needed a comeback after his political career went down in flames after he sent explicit photos of himself to strangers.
But then, while running for mayor, there was a new round of sexting and photos.
Weiner appears on camera repeatedly practicing his apology. Abedin stood by her man just as her boss Hillary Clinton had done with President Bill Clinton.
In the movie, Abedin is coached to look happier. Viewers also see reporters in a feeding frenzy.
“I can’t believe I gave the press the finger,” Weiner says at one point in the movie.
The movie puts Weiner back on the public’s radar. But is a political comeback for Weiner even remotely possible?
Crisis management and public relations expert Richard Auletta thinks not.
“It makes him more of a buffoon,” Auletta said. ”Would it do any good for Anthony Weiner? Maybe he can get a comedy role.”
The movie opens Friday, May 20, and CBS2 asked Weiner himself about it. The answer he gave us might surprise you.
“Sorry, I haven’t seen it,” he told Carlin. “I’ll let you know if I see the movie.”
Some New Yorkers were quite eager to see it.
“I would definitely see it,” said Barbara Whitaker of Greenwich Village.
“Maybe he’ll find a different career in entertainment,” said Rita Idavoy.
“He could ride notoriety,” said Roy Smith of St. George, Staten Island.
When Weiner announced his candidacy for the 2013 Democratic New York City mayoral primary, he found himself in the lead in many polls among the Democratic candidates for mayor. But his numbers took a nosedive after revelations surfaced in July about his sexting relationship with a woman named Sydney Leathers.
The gossip Web site “The Dirty” published several steamy exchanges and two censored photos reportedly supplied by Leathers, who the site said had been involved in an online relationship with Weiner as late as the summer of 2012. Weiner became instantly infamous for the “Carlos Danger” screen name that appeared with the seamy messages.
When the allegations hit, Weiner responded apologetically at a news conference alongside Abedin. But he said he would be moving forward with his mayoral campaign, despite calls from some of his opponents – as well as newspaper editorial writers – to withdraw.
The scandal grew seamier in the days afterward. Two days after the initial revelations, The Dirty posted two unredacted photos of a man’s penis that it said Weiner sent to Leathers in 2012.
Mayor Bill de Blasio won the primary, defeating Weiner, former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former city comptrollers Bill Thompson and John Liu, former city Councilman Sal Albanese, and community leader Erick Salgado. Weiner came in with only 5 percent of the vote.
Weiner’s focus these days is staying home more to care for his four year old son while Abedin’s on the campaign trail.