Congressman Weiner admits online affairs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Representative Anthony Wiener on Monday tearfully admitted having a number of online sex relationships with women over the Internet, saying he was deeply ashamed of his actions but would not resign.

Weiner, a New York Democrat and a leading liberal voice in the House of Representatives who was expected to run for mayor of New York City in 2013, also admitted to inappropriate Internet and telephone conversations with six women but said none of them developed into a physical relationship.

“I’m deeply regretting what I have done and I’m not resigning,” Weiner told a news conference while wiping away tears.

“The picture was of me and I sent it,” he said of an image sent over Twitter of a man in his underpants, which sparked the scandal more than a week ago.

“I am deeply ashamed of my judgments and actions,” said the politician known for bluntness and a combative style in Congress.

“This was a very dumb thing to do and it was a very destructive thing to do,” he said, stressing that none of the relationships were physical and that he has never had sex with a woman other than his wife since he was married.

Asked about the relationship with his wife, he said, “I love my wife very much and we have no intention of splitting up over this.” He said she was disappointed by his actions.

Weiner is married to Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The couple was married in a ceremony officiated by former President Bill Clinton.

Last week, Weiner said he could not say for sure whether he was the subject of a lewd photo sent from his Twitter account. The Democrat had denied tweeting the photo of a man’s bulging boxer briefs to a 21-year-old female student in Washington state, insisting his account had been hacked.