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US congressman admits he sent lewd picture

NEW YORK (AP) _ A teary-eyed congressman from New York confessed Monday that he tweeted a lewd photo of himself to a young woman and admitted ``inappropriate'' exchanges with six women, reversing his string of denials about the incidents.

In an apparent attempt to end the scathing headlines that the allegations have drawn, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, a democrat, apologized repeatedly in a half-hour news conference for lying _ but said he would not resign from the House of Representatives.

Weiner insisted that he had never met any of the women he corresponded with online and sometimes via telephone, and was not even sure of their ages. He also said he had never had sex outside of his marriage.

``This was me doing a dumb thing, and doing it repeatedly, and lying about it,'' he said.

A teary U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., addresses a news conference in New York, Monday, June 6, 2011. (AP)
A teary U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., addresses a news conference in New York, Monday, June 6, 2011. (AP)

Weiner, 46, married Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin last July, with former President Bill Clinton officiating. Abedin was born in the U.S.; her father was of Indian descent, and her mother was from Pakistan.

Before his marriage, Weiner had been known as one of New York's most eligible bachelors.

He said Monday that he did not feel the scandal affected his work as a lawmaker but would understand if his constituents decided not to re-elect him.

``I'm going to work very hard to win back their trust,'' he said.

This captured page from the website shows photo of a shirtless U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner which was allegedly emailed to a young woman.
This captured page from the website shows photo of a shirtless U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner which was allegedly emailed to a young woman.

It was unclear how Weiner's admission of his online activities would affect his career. Shortly after his announcement, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House, called for an ethics committee investigation to determine if Weiner had broken House rules. Weiner said he would cooperate with an investigation.

A member of congress for 14 years, Weiner gained a national profile last year supporting liberal provision of President Barack Obama's health care reform bill.

Republican opposition to that reform bill is one reason Obama and fellow Democrats could face tougher races during the 2012 congressional and presidential races.

A conservative website, which last week started the furor over the photo of the congressman's bulging underpants sent from Weiner's Twitter account, on Monday posted new photos purportedly from a second woman who said she received shirtless shots of the congressman.

Weiner had earlier said of the underwear photo that his account was hacked and that he'd hired a lawyer and a private security firm to investigate the incident.

Weiner called the underpants photo a joke and a ``hugely regrettable mistake.''

Meanwhile, ABC News said Monday it planned to air an interview with a Texas woman, Meagan Broussard, who claims to be one of the women who exchanged messages with Weiner. The 26-year-old single mother said she has dozens of emails, Facebook messages and cell phone logs that document more than a month of flirting that started on April 20., the website run by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, had posted the latest photos and said they were in a cache of intimate online photographs, chats and email exchanges the woman claimed to have. The website did not identify the woman.

One photo showed Weiner on a couch with two cats nearby. The website said Weiner sent the photo using the anthonyweiner(at) account with the subject line ``Me and the pussys.''

The celebrity website said a woman claimed to have 200 sexually explicit messages from Weiner through a Facebook account that Weiner no longer uses. It was not clear whether the woman who claimed to have the new photo was the person who claimed to have received the text messages.

The photo showing Weiner shirtless was reminiscent of a photo of former Rep. Chris Lee, a New York Republican who resigned from office earlier this year after a shirtless photo he sent a woman on Craig's List became public. A Democrat won his seat.

Weiner began his career as a legislative assistant to then-Rep. Chuck Schumer, who is now the state's senior senator. He was elected to the New York City Council before winning Schumer's House seat in 1998, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens.


성공가도 달리던 美 하원의원, 트위터 외설사진 스캔들 휘말려

팬티차림 사진 여학생에 보냈다가 들통.."해킹당했다" 거짓말도

    (워싱턴=연합뉴스) 미국 뉴욕시의 유명한 하원의원이 자신의 트위터 계정을 통해 팬티 차림의 하반신 일부 사진을 한 여학생에게 보냈다가 이런 사실이 들통나면서 미국 사회가 발칵 뒤집혔다.

지난주 한 인터넷 사이트에 의해 이런 사실이 공개된 뒤에도 "트위터 계정이 해킹당했다"고 무관함을 강조해 오던 민주당 소속 앤서니 위너(46.뉴욕) 하원의원은 6일 기자회견을 갖고 문제의 사진이 자신이 보낸 것임을 시인했다.

위너는 이날 회견에서 "내가 한 일에 전적인 책임을 지려고 왔다"면서 "끔찍한실수를 저질렀으며, 진심으로 죄송하다"고 사과했다.

그는 자신이 지난 3년여간 6명의 여성들과 `부적절한' 교신들을 해 왔다고 밝혔지만, "법을 위반한 어떤 것도 하지는 않았다"고 강조했다.

지난달 말 시애틀에 사는 한 여학생에게 위너의 트위터 계정을 통해 `불룩 솟은' 팬티 사진이 보내진 것이 드러난 뒤 미 언론은 이 사진이 위너가 직접 보낸  위너의 사진인지 여부를 두고 큰 관심을 갖고 보도해 왔다.

위너는 당초 이 같은 사진을 보낸 적이 없다고 강하게 부인하면서 해킹  가능성을 주장해 왔고, 변호사들과 사설 탐정들을 고용해서 이를 조사하겠다고 밝혔다.

하지만 이날 다른 여성에게 보내진 셔츠를 입지 않은 또 다른 위너의 사진이 웹사이트에 공개되고, 또 다른 사이트에는 위너의 페이스북 계정에서 보냈다는 노골적으로 성적인 메시지 수백건을 갖고 있다는 한 여성의 주장이 제기되는 등 의혹은 더욱 짙어져만 가는 양상이었다.

위너는 "사진을 보낼 때 무슨 생각을 했는지 모르겠다. 정말 어리석은 짓을  했다"고 말했고, 문제가 터진 뒤 곧장 시인하지 않은데 대해서는 "당황해서 거짓말을 했다. 진실을 말하지 않았다"고 고개를 숙였다.

위너는 이날 자신의 잘못과 거짓말에 대해 수차례 사과했지만, 사퇴는 거부했다. 그는 내년 선거에서 유권자들에게 판단을 맡기겠다는 입장을 밝혔다. 그는 또 "결혼 생활 외에는 성행위를 하지 않았다"고 주장했다.

뉴욕 퀸스와 브루클린을 지역구로 둔 위너는 1998년 처음 하원의원에 당선된 뒤내리 7선에 성공했으며, 뉴욕시장 후보감으로도 거론돼 왔지만 이번 사건으로 당장의원직 유지조차 불투명해지는 운명에 처했다.

위너는 힐러리 클린턴 국무장관의 보좌관이던 후마 아베딘과 지난해 7월 결혼했으며, 빌 클린턴 전 대통령이 당시 결혼식 주례를 서기도 했다.

이에 앞서 공화당 소속의 크리스토퍼 리(공화.뉴욕) 하원의원은 온라인  광고사이트 `크레이그스 리스트'에 남자친구를 구하는 광고를 게재한 30대 여성에게  신분을 속인 채 상의를 벗은 사진을 보낸 것이 드러나 올 2월 의원직을 사임하기도 했다

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