"She deserves our respect and privacy in this really difficult time in her life," says a supporter who was with Abedin hours before the sexting scandal broke

By Diane Herbst
Updated August 30, 2016 10:00 AM
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Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Just hours before news broke that husband Anthony Weiner was caught in his third sexting scandal in five years, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin was attending a big-dollar fundraiser with her boss at the Hamptons home of Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.

Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the chairwoman of the New York State Council on the Arts, tells PEOPLE that Abedin has “been through enough” and “she deserves our respect and privacy in this really difficult time in her life.”

Soon after the New York Post published this latest scandal, Abedin announced she is seperating from Weiner.

Abedin will “put her life together in a meaningful way” because “she does have uncommon grace and intelligence for a very young woman,” Diamonstein-Spielvogel tells PEOPLE.

“She’s never maintained herself with anything but dignity,” she continues. “There are very few people one can say that about at any age.”

The couple have been married six years, and have a 4-year-old son. A source in the Clinton camp tells PEOPLE that Abedin and her son are in the Hamptons with the Clintons, in the middle of three days of pre-planned fundraising there.

“I wish her and that adorable son the very best going forward,” Diamonstein-Spielvogel tells PEOPLE. “I do think they should be respected.”

Abedin, 40, had previously stood by Weiner in 2011 when he resigned from Congress after accidentally tweeting a sexually explicit photo of himself that was intended for another woman, and again in 2013 when the then-candidate for New York City mayor was caught sexting once more, under the pseudonym Carlos Danger.

In this third scandal, the Post published a photo that Weiner allegedly sent to a woman that showed him in his underwear in bed next to the couple’s son.

Supporters were out on Twitter, trying to enforce some zone of privacy for Abedin. Democratic activist Hilary Rosen asked people to “move on … let the woman live her life.”

While former Obama White House aide Campbell Spencer pointed out that all marriages are complicated and said, “Leave her alone.”

Sherri Shepherd, former co-host of The View, weighed in with sympathy for Abedin.

But after one of Shepherd’s followers pointed out that, by including @HumaAbedin in the Tweets, she was pinging Abedin’s Twitter feed just when the woman was hoping for privacy, Shepherd quickly corrected herself.

None of it stopped the critics. Actor James Woods questioned why voters should “trust national security decisions to Huma Abedin,” calling her “#JudgementLoserOfTheDecade.”

And, of course, Donald Trump was one of the first out of the gate with criticism of Abedin.

The Republican presidential candidate linked the news to her boss when he citing Abedin’s marital woes as “another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment.”