Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) former sexting partner Sydney Elaine Leathers wants to set the record straight.
She says she never guided a 15-year-old girl participating in rape fantasies with Weiner to sell her story to Daily Mail.
Leathers surfaced this week in a spate of stories involving her, Weiner, his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, and ex-FBI Director James Comey.
In an exclusive interview with The Mirror, Leathers said she had her therapist call Child Protective Services. It’s a fact that at least two publications —The New Yorker and ProPublica, which ran identical stories — conveniently left out in their reports on the matter. The New York Daily News repeated the tidbit about Leathers helping the girl sell her sexting story. The New York Post‘s “Page Six” did not repeat it.
Weiner has still not been prosecuted for exchanging sexual texts and skyping with a minor. Leathers was a predominant factor in destroying Weiner’s 2013 New York mayoral run. After the scandal subsided, she got cosmetic surgery and became a porn film actress. She now has an X-rated webcam business.
Here’s what Peter Elkind wrote in his May 11th New Yorker piece:
“’How can I at least make you some money?’ she said she asked the teenager. “’I basically said, ‘The only way you should do this is if they pay you.’ Certain outlets will pay you to talk, and I had made deals with a lot of them.’ Leathers’ agent alerted dailymail.com, the online version of a British tabloid with which she’d previously done business. Both Leathers and the girl received a sizable fee; the teen’s father, an attorney, helped negotiate her payment.”
Leathers is furious. She said the above quote is not hers.
“I have never been treated so poorly by anyone in the media,” Leathers told me in a lengthy conversation Thursday night over Twitter’s Direct Messaging system. “This really wasn’t something I reveled in. This was something I anguished over. It was very upsetting and I won’t sit around and let the media try to paint me as a villain AGAIN. Nope.”
She tore Elkind apart on Twitter Thursday night.
Here’s what Leathers says really happened.
The 15-year-old girl approached Leathers with screenshots of sext messages with Weiner. Leathers immediately recognized his Facebook account. Out of concern, she sent Weiner a private message on Facebook telling him to knock it off. She also went to her therapist for help. Her therapist phoned Child Protective Services and gave them the girl’s name, city and state.
Asked if she ever directed the girl to Daily Mail so the girl could get paid for her juicy story, she said, “No. I have no idea how much money she made or that her dad negotiated for her. Unless they got that from them [the girl and her parents], I have no clue where that stuff came from.”
Leathers said she did not give The New Yorker the Facebook message and has no idea how the pub got it. She insists she didn’t show anyone the note she sent to Weiner.
“A fact checker from the New Yorker reached out to me but I refused to cooperate because they were using info given off the record and false info,” she wrote. “The quote attributed to me about making the teen some money was fake. I never said that to her.”
She continued, “That article was never even fact checked. The author wanted to use info given off the record (& false info) so I told the fact checker at the New Yorker I wouldn’t help him unless I was assured all false info & info given off the record was removed. I have dealt with a ton of reporters and no one has ever been this unethical. There’s even a quote attributed to me that I never actually said.”
Leathers said she’s not surprised The New Yorker got it so wrong.
“In the past the New Yorker had identified me as a poker player from Vegas (someone from Weiner’s first scandal,) so I should’ve known they wouldn’t get their story right,” she said.
So what about reports of Weiner’s alleged sex addiction?
Leathers said she has always felt villainized by the media.
“Yeah, I think it has been easy to paint me as the bad guy,” she said. “Especially because I’ve made money from my situation and because I’ve done adult work. Many people see that as irredeemable and unforgivable. Easy to make me the villain.”