Sydney Leathers, whose leaked sexts with Anthony Weiner put the kibosh on the politician’s run for NYC mayor in 2013, has spoken out about her unwitting role in the 2016 election.
The September revelation that Weiner had been sexting with an underage girl triggered an FBI investigation into the politician; when it was discovered he also had emails related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the FBI reopened its investigation into the latter. After a shocking loss to Trump, Clinton laid at least some of the blame at the feet of FBI director James Comey for reopening and closing the private server investigation so close to election day.
“She reached out to me back in May. So this was something I had been dealing with behind the scenes for a long time. It was hard on me. I just felt a lot of pressure to do the right thing for her … I guess she wanted advice, or at the very least someone to listen who could relate.
“[Weiner] was someone I had on a pedestal when I was younger, naïve, and idealistic. Especially now, after the stuff with the 15-year-old, I’m just repulsed … I’m not someone who feels like the moral authority in a situation but to do what he did to this kid really upsets me on the deepest level. It’s unforgivable. I was once a 15-year-old who had creepy older men do weird shit to her. I take this personally. I wish someone would’ve done something for me when I was her age. So I wanted to be that person for her.”
Leathers, who appears briefly in the festival-favorite documentary Weiner, told the Daily Beast that she was shocked when she realized she might have accidentally helped get Donald Trump elected, although she doesn’t regret helping the underage girl.
“I had a panic attack when I first found out. I was shaking for a solid 30 minutes,” she said. “I felt sick, and a little guilty initially, but I had no way of knowing this was going to happen. It wasn’t malicious. I wanted to help a 15-year-old girl; it was the right thing. I’m sorry for any damage it caused the Clinton campaign. That wasn’t my intent.”