Weiner dodges sexting partner, flips the bird as he rides off
NEW YORK (CNN) — The now-immortalized final moment of Anthony Weiner’s failed New York mayoral campaign was the candidate’s middle finger directed at a reporter curbside as his car drove away Tuesday night.
CNN affiliate NY-1 captured Weiner flipping the bird on video as the candidate departed his primary election night party after delivering his concession speech, punctuating the end of his bizarre campaign and an odd evening.
If that wasn’t enough drama, Weiner had trouble getting into his event as Sydney Leathers, the woman at the center of the sexting controversy that began the unraveling of his mayoral campaign, had shown up outside in what she admitted was a blatant play for media attention. Weiner’s problem was there was only one entrance to Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant, the election night headquarters for his campaign.
“I’m here to celebrate. I think he needs some sex therapy,” explained Leathers, who is now embracing a career in the porn industry.
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Dressed in a skintight, red dress and platform black pumps, Leathers got what she was looking for as some of the press inside headed outside to interview the newly minted porn star. For about 30 minutes, it was a media frenzy outside. Leathers stuck around for several hours hoping Weiner would show up, even heading inside to the bar to drink a glass of white wine with a male friend.
“We went to his campaign headquarters today first, and he decided to rearrange his schedule because apparently he doesn’t think he can handle confronting me or me being in his presence so I felt like it was only appropriate to make one last stop,” she said.
Sydney Leathers outside New York City mayoral candidate Anthoy Weiner’s election night Tuesday, September 10, 2013.
Sydney Leathers outside New York City mayoral candidate Anthoy Weiner’s election night Tuesday, September 10, 2013. Photo by Laura Dolan.
She was right that campaign staff didn’t want a scene out front as they spent a long time figuring out how to choreograph Weiner’s arrival. When the candidate finally showed just before 11 p.m., he quickly bolted into a next door McDonald’s restaurant. The press corps and Leathers gave chase — yes, this really happened — security pulled a blocking maneuver as Weiner ducked through a door that connected Connolly’s and the Mickey D’s.
Despite the antics, Weiner made no mention of the spectacle outside during his concession speech. But his mood may have been reflected by his departing gesture.
CNN’s Laura Dolan, Rosa Flores and Tim McCaughan contributed to this report.