Huma Abedin has spoken publicly for the first time, breaking her silence to discuss being kissed by a senator against her will, and the collapse of her marriage to disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner.
Abedin, who for 25 years has served as Hillary Clinton‘s most loyal aide, spoke to CBS’s Norah O’Donnell for an interview that will air on Sunday.
She recounted an incident from the 2000s, described in her new memoir, in which a senator invited her back to his apartment in Washington DC and surprised her by kissing her.
‘I did go back to a senator’s apartment – a senator who I knew and was very comfortable with – and he kissed me, in a very shocking way,’ she told O’Donnell.
‘Because it was somebody I had known, and, frankly, trusted.’
Huma Abedin, who has for the last 25 years worked for Hillary Clinton, has give her first televised interview, to CBS. The full sit-down will air on Sunday
Abedin, 45, says that she has written a memoir, out next month, because she realized that, by staying silent, she was allowing other people to tell her story
In her first television interview for @CBSSunday, Huma Abedin details an encounter where a Senator kissed her while she was an aide to then-Senator Hillary Clinton.
¿I was in an uncomfortable situation with a Senator and I didn’t know how to deal with it,¿ Abedin tells us. pic.twitter.com/umB3bCXaPU
— Norah O’Donnell ¿¿¿¿ (@NorahODonnell) October 27, 2021
Abedin wrote in her memoir that she attended the dinner without Clinton, then-senator from New York, but with ‘a few senators and their aides,’ according to a copy of the book obtained by The Guardian.
‘I ended up walking out with one of the senators, and soon we stopped in front of his building and he invited me in for coffee. Once inside, he told me to make myself comfortable on the couch.’
She said the senator took off his blazer, rolled up his sleeves and made coffee before sitting beside her on the couch.
‘Then, in an instant, it all changed. He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa.
‘I was so utterly shocked, I pushed him away. All I wanted was for the last 10 seconds to be erased.’
She said that the senator seemed shocked but apologized and said he had ‘misread’ their relationship.
Huma Abedin is seen with Hillary Clinton in May 2005 – around the time that she was sexually assaulted by a senator
Abedin is pictured with Clinton in 2008, while she was still a senator for New York
Abedin, pictured in April 2016 with Clinton on the presidential campaign trail, has written a new book. In it, she reveals she was sexually assaulted by a senator
Abedin said she then plotted how to leave ‘without this ending badly,’ as the senator asked her if she wanted to stay.
‘Then I said something only the twentysomething version of me would have come up with – ‘I am so sorry’ – and walked out, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible.’
Abedin, now 45, said that she kept her distance from the senator ‘for a few days,’ but eventually ran into him on Capitol Hill.
He asked her at the time if they were still friends, and she nodded. She wrote that Clinton then came up to join them.
The Clinton aide said that the memory of the couch incident was suppressed until she read about Ford ‘being accused of ‘conveniently’ remembering’ her alleged assault.
Abedin, born in Michigan to Indian and Pakistani parents, grew up in Saudi Arabia. Her book is titled Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds
Ford claimed Kavanaugh assaulted her at a gathering in high school, Kavanaugh claimed such an incident never happened and was still confirmed to the bench.
O’Donnell asked whether Abedin felt that the senator assaulted her.
‘I’m suggesting that I was in an uncomfortable situation, with a senator, and I didn’t know how to deal with it,’ she replied.
‘And I buried the whole experience. But in my own personal opinion, no.
‘Did I feel like he was assaulting me in that moment? It didn’t feel that way.
‘It felt like I needed to extricate myself from that situation. And he also spent a lot of time apologizing and making sure I was OK.
‘And we were actually able to rebalance our relationship.’
Abedin was asked by O’Donnell why she was speaking out now.
‘I think for most of my adult life, certainly in the last 25 years that I’ve been in public service or in the public eye, I have been the invisible person behind the primary people in my life,’ she said.
‘But what I realize is that if you don’t tell your story, somebody else is writing your history.’
Abedin’s life has been overshadowed both by the Clintons, to whom she remains a loyal and ever-present aide, and by her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.
Weiner and Abedin married back in 2010, in a star-studded ceremony at a Long Island mansion, officiated by President Bill Clinton, and during which Hillary Clinton called the bride the closest thing she had to a second daughter.
Huma Abedin attends the 2021 Met Gala on September 13
Abedin and Weiner are pictured in November 2015, at a fashion gala in New York City
Abedin and Weiner are seen in September 2017, in Manhattan Civil Court, for a hearing in their divorce case
Abedin and Weiner are seen together after doing the school run with their son Jordan in October 2019
But the couple’s high-powered political union hit troubled waters the following year.
Weiner was forced to step down from his seat in New York’s 9th congressional district, after he accidentally tweeted a crotch-shot of himself in his underwear to the public, on his official page.
Abedin writes in the book that she was ‘filled with rage’ and ‘stunned to the core’ when Weiner confessed to her in 2011 that he accidentally posted a crotch picture in his grey boxers on Twitter, after convincing her for a week that it was ‘the work of a hacker.’
She was newly pregnant with their son at the time and was traveling frequently with Clinton, then Secretary of State.
Weiner accidentally posted the photograph on his feed instead of sending it as a direct message to a woman he’d been flirting with on Twitter.
Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner in 2013, two years after the crotch picture scandal when he unsuccessfully ran for Mayor
This is the photo Weiner accidentally posted on Twitter. He intended to send it to a woman as a private message. The unedited version showed the outline of his penis
He first told Abedin that it was ‘the work of a hacker,’ which she believed, then after a week told her what had really happened.
”What’s wrong?’ I asked,’ she wrote.
‘And then, just like that, life as I knew it was officially over. ‘It’s true,’ he said. ‘I sent the picture…
‘I was simultaneously filled with rage and stunned to my core. It felt like a bolt of lightning had struck me and run straight through my body,’ she wrote.
I was simultaneously filled with rage and stunned to my core. It felt like a bolt of lightning had struck me and run straight through my body
In her memoir, Abedin told how she’d been traveling with Clinton and was staying at Buckingham Palace in the weeks before the crotch picture scandal erupted.
She had just discovered she was pregnant and wrote a letter to Weiner from the room where she was staying at the palace, saying: ‘Dear Anthony – Is it possible for any two people to be happier or more blessed? Some days, I cannot believe it.
‘We must remember to be grateful to God that He has given us so much. I love you. Huma Weiner, May 24, 2011.’
The investigation into Weiner’s devices began when DailyMail.com revealed that the disgraced congressman had an online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl for months and sent her lewd messages and pictures
When the scandal exploded, Abedin said she was most upset when she learned The New York Times planned to report on her pregnancy.
She said she went into Clinton’s office and sobbed.
‘I wanted to tell you myself,’ was all I could get out before I burst into tears.
‘She walked me over to the window seat, sat with me, rubbing my back, trying to reassure me, telling me over and over again that it was going to be okay. I was crying so loudly that her assistant Claire Coleman closed the door to the outer office…
‘After I don’t know how long, when I caught my breath, HRC asked, ‘Do you still want to go on this trip?’
”I think it’s important for me to do my work,’ I said, blowing my nose.
”I think it would be good for you to go, too,’ she said,’ Abedin wrote.
Abedin stuck by Weiner. The pair is shown last year in New York City. She announced in 2016 that she planned to separate from him, but they have not finalized their divorce
Huma is still close with Clinton. They are shown in the Hamptons earlier this year
He resigned within a few weeks of the Twitter photograph scandal, then ran unsuccessfully for New York City mayor twice, in 2005 and 2013.
In 2016, DailyMail.com revealed that he had been sending lewd text messages to a 15-year-old girl that included more explicit photographs.
He served 18 months in prison before being released from jail in 2019.
Abedin announced in 2016 that she planned to separate from him but the pair has yet to finalize their divorce.
On Wednesday the pair was seen shopping together in New York’s East Village.
Huma Abedin (left) and her estranged husband, former congressman and convicted sex offender Anthony Weiner (right), were spotted shopping at a New York City grocer in New York City on Wednesday
The high-profile exes are seldom seen out together since they filed for divorce in 2017 following Weiner’s (left) sexting scandal with a 15-year-old girl. Abedin (right) and Weiner appear to have remained civil despite their pending divorce
Abedin is seen pushing a fully loaded shopping cart at Target in New York City on Wednesday
The high-profile exes have occasionally been seen out together since they filed for divorce in 2017, following Weiner’s sexting scandal with a 15-year-old girl.
Photographs show the pair – who have reportedly separated but are not yet divorced – walking through Manhattan together as Abedin, who is on the phone, carries a reusable grocery tote.
She is also seen pushing a fully loaded shopping cart at Target. Weiner did not appear to be near her at that time.
Abedin and Weiner appear to have remained civil despite their pending divorce.
They are said to be committed to co-parenting their only child, Jordan, but have no interest in a romantic reunion.
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