The 23-year-old political science major who had an online sexual relationship with New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner says she is sorry for the pain she caused his wife and that Weiner is not the man she thought he was.
"He was making these campaign promises that he had totally changed, and I am proof that that is not true," Sydney Leathers told the syndicated program "Inside Edition" in an interview aired Thursday. "Our conversations were always of a very sexual nature."
Leathers said she first contacted Weiner in June 2011, not long after he resigned his seat in Congress over a scandal that he had exchanged lewd messages online with a variety of women. Leathers said she told him she was disappointed in his behavior.
Just more than a year later, in July 2012, Weiner replied with a Facebook "poke." The two quickly began an online relationship that moved to text messages and phone calls. Weiner always called Leathers from a blocked number, she said. She never called him.
Communications ended in November 2012, about six months after they began, Leathers said, saying that the "fantasy" relationship just fizzled out.
Leathers said she was "shocked" when Weiner sent her a photo of his penis. "And the fact that it was his idea was even more shocking," she said. The picture has been released, both pixelated, and non-edited on the website The Dirty.
"He got a little bit controlling with me towards the end," she said. "He would tell me that he would be jealous. He would look at my Facebook frequently, and he would tell me he would get jealous if other men would compliment me, and just little stuff like that."
Leathers told Weiner she loved him, and he told her that he loved her, Leathers said, but added she never expected him to leave his wife, Huma Abedin.
At one point, she posted a quote on her Facebook page from the TV show "House of Cards," a show in which a Washington politician has an affair with a reporter. She said she received a comment from Weiner, "Is this about me? Is that show about me?"
When writing Leathers, Weiner used the pseudonym "Carlos Danger."
Leathers, too, thought the name was "silly," but said she never mentioned it to Weiner.
She broke down in tears when shown a video of Weiner's wife at a Tuesday press conference.
"I just feel very, very sorry for my part in the pain that she obviously feels," Leathers said.
"I felt manipulated," she said, "because, obviously, I felt like he was saying one thing to me, saying another thing to his wife, saying another on the campaign trail. I don't know who the real Anthony Weiner is, I guess."
She said she last communicated with him on Facebook four months ago when he announced he was running for mayor. She said he sent her a message: "do me a solid. Can you hard delete all our chats here."
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