Huma Abedin and her husband, then-New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, in 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Anthony Weiner turned up in a navy blue suit with maroon tie for his 11 a.m. hearing Friday at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of sending obscene material to a 15-year-old girl.
But the disgraced former congressman was wearing something else: his gold wedding band on his left finger, according to the Daily News.
Does that mean that Weiner, 52, and Abedin, 40, are still a couple?
Weiner clearly wanted to honor his seven-year marriage to Abedin by wearing the ring. But Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s longtime righthand woman, did not accompany Weiner to the court hearing, so it’s not clear what the status of their relationship is.
However, the latest report on their marriage from late March said the two were still trying to work things out. Abedin was said to still be willing to give her marriage to Weiner, her self-described sexting-addicted husband, another try despite …
… Weiner first being caught in a sexting scandal in May 2011.
That’s when then-Congressman Weiner accidentally tweeted out a photo of his erect penis in boxer briefs that was apparently intended to be sent privately to a college student. Two weeks later, Weiner resigned from Congress as more women with more photos emerged.
… Weiner getting caught sexting again in 2013.
At the time he was attempting a political comeback and running for mayor of New York City. He had also allowed a documentary film crew to follow him around. They would be there to chronicle the ensuing scandal when more sexts and photos from Weiner surfaced — these posted under the alias “Carlos Danger.” Weiner refused to withdraw from the race. At one point he had been a frontrunner, but he ended up coming in fifth place with just 4.9 percent of the vote.
… Weiner getting caught sexting yet again in August 2016.
Abedin was running former Secretary of State Clinton’s bid for president, while Weiner was playing stay-at-home dad to their 5-year-old son in 2015 and 2016. But a photo that he’d sent to another woman surfaced: a crotch-shot photo taken while he was sitting next to his sleeping son. Abedin immediately announced she was separating from Weiner. The next month, a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina went public with her allegations that she and Weiner had exchanged lurid texts. Federal authorities launched an investigation.
.. Weiner’s sexting habits taking center stage in the 2016 presidential race.
Weiner actions may have set off a series of events that many believe helped doom Clinton’s presidential bid and led to Donald Trump being elected president. Days before the Nov. 8 election, former FBI director James Comey reopened the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private server after federal agents, investigating Weiner’s relationship with the underage girl, found “pertinent” emails on his laptop. For some reason, Weiner’s laptop also contained State Department-related emails between Abedin and her boss.
Despite all this, a friend of Abedin and Weiner told the Post in March that the couple were still in love. The Post and other publications speculated that Abedin announced her split from Weiner in August “more for optics” for Clinton’s campaign than because she was ready to give up on the marriage.
Fast forward seven months and Huma was said to be “working hard on her relationship with Anthony,” according to the source. Weiner had also been spending 80 to 90 percent of his time at an apartment they share.
Weiner was also said to be working hard on his recovery, sources told the Post. He completed outpatient sex addiction therapy in the fall and continues to seek treatment in New York City.
Whatever is going on with their marriage, Weiner now faces prison time. The New York Daily News reported that, under a plea deal, prosecutors will ask for 21 to 27 months in prison for Weiner. He will also need to register as a sex offender. His sentencing is scheduled for September 8.
Earlier this year, Weiner’s lawyers had reportedly been in talks with federal prosecutors for weeks, angling for a plea deal to avoid the most serious possible charge, production of child pornography, which would have carried a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence.
There was some speculation that reports of Abedin and Weiner working on their marriage were part of an attempt to portray Weiner as remorseful enough that his estranged wife was willing to forgive him and take him back.
In what the Daily News called the penultimate scene in Weiner’s act of sexual self-immolation, he delivered a tearful four-paragraph statement to the court in which he detailed his years of compulsive sexual behavior, ending with last year’s explicit contact the North Carolina teen.
“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” Weiner said in his admission to the court. “I apologize to everyone I have hurt. I apologize to the teenage girl, whom I mistreated so badly.”