How Weiner Turned Facebook Hate Mail into Cybersex

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If you were wondering how to get seduced by Anthony Weiner, some insight: Send him a message on Facebook complaining about him. Hard to deny that he's a capable politician.

According to a report in The New York Times, that is how the young woman at the center of the new explicit-message revelations first came into contact with the former Congressman.

Not long after Mr. Weiner resigned from Congress, the 22-year-old woman reached out to express her disappointment in him.

Mr. Weiner responded and, within a week, their exchanges veered from politics to sex, with the pair trading dozens of explicit photographs, said Nik Richie, the editor of The Dirty, the blog that first documented the exchanges.

The Times notes that this is how it happened before, too: "In rapid and reckless fashion, he sought to transform informal conversations with female fans into graphically sexually exchanges."

Tuesday evening, BuzzFeed identified the young woman involved in the incident. Online, she used the name "Sydney Leathers," although it's unclear if that is her actual name. Pseudonyms are not uncommon in online communication, as Carlos Danger can attest. According to a profile with that name, Leathers lived in Princeton, Indiana. The Daily Mail reports that she blogged for a progressive website in that state — perhaps prompting Weiner's offer that he could help get her on a Politico panel on that subject.

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A Twitter account linked to Leathers points to a domain,, which at one point listed "Sydney's Hero's." Third on the list: Anthony Weiner, just behind the president and Bill Maher. That domain no longer has any content — but it appears to have been renewed at some point Tuesday.

The Times indicates that Leathers "declined repeated requests to discuss the matter." Nor has Weiner offered any new response. On Wednesday evening, he will join other mayoral candidates at a forum in the Bronx. Among them, Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio, who has called on Weiner to withdraw from the race. Weiner will likely respond to criticism of his behavior somewhat differently at the forum than he did with Ms. Leathers.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.