"The timing was right," the disgraced former congressman says

By Sean Neumann
September 17, 2020 10:43 AM
Advertisement
Anthony Weiner
| Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty

Disgraced congressman-turned-felon Anthony Weiner — who spent 18 months in federal prison after a string of sexting scandals over several years, including a crime inextricably linked to the last presidential election — is starting over. Again.

He said this week that he was named the CEO of a New York City-based countertop company.

In an email blast Monday, Weiner, 56, promoted the company's countertops based on the colors of local sports teams like the Islanders, the Knicks and the Mets, The New York Times reported.

The company, IceStone, is a recycled-glass company that says it's built on "giving the Earth and its people second chances" — including its employees.

The company's website states that they "hire the homeless, refugees and train the formerly incarcerated and ensure that everyone gets paid a living wage and has access to subsidized health insurance and a voice in the company."

Weiner says he began the job in May.

"The timing was right," he tells PEOPLE, referencing the employment instability tens of millions in the U.S. have experienced during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been a learning experience, but it's a really amazing place," he says. "There aren't too many manufacturing companies in New York, let alone manufacturing companies that re-purpose recycled materials and live by these environmental qualities that it has and the social qualities that it does."

The latest career turnaround for the former New York congressman — in a life of success and abject failure, downfalls and reversals — comes after he spent a year and a half in federal prison for sending explicit photos of himself to a 15-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to a charge of transmitting sexual material to a minor.

His estranged wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, filed for divorce hours after his plea before withdrawing the filing from the court system in early 2018 in order to settle the divorce privately, citing the fact she wished to protect their young son.

Weiner now lives on the same floor in the same building as Abedin, 44, and their son, according to the Times, though the paper notes they live apart. (Weiner says they are all lucky and doing "okay" in the pandemic.)

The status of Abedin's divorce from Weiner was not clear on Thursday, but a source says she refers to Weiner as her "ex," though they are amicable co-parents.

From left: Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner in 2017
| Credit: Jefferson Siegel/The Daily News via AP

Weiner says he didn't want to "be a lightning rod" and would not comment on whom he supports in the 2020 election, though he spent seven terms in Congress as a member of the Democratic Party.

Then he went back to talking about his new job.

"I think our environmental values of our company believe very deeply in the ideas of sustainability and making sure that we pass along an Earth and environment better than the one that we've created up til now," he says. "All that being said ... there are values in our company that appeal to both Democrats and Republicans."

Weiner's first sexting scandal came to light in 2011 and led to his resignation from Congress that June.

He had tweeted out a graphic photo of his crotch, which was reportedly meant to be sent to a 21-year-old college student in Washington state, according to the Seattle Times.

He went on run for mayor of New York City in 2013, conceding his campaign after finishing fifth in the Democratic primary following a second sexting scandal.

In the summer of 2016, a woman came forward to say he had been sending sexually suggestive photos and messages to her, including one that showed him in bed with his young son.

Then, in the final month of the 2016 presidential campaign between Clinton and Donald Trump, the FBI seized Weiner's computer after media reports of yet another transgression — this time with a girl, who prosecutors said had informed him "early on" that she was in high school.

The federal investigation led to former FBI Director James Comey announcing days before the 2016 election that the bureau would launch an investigation into emails between Clinton and Abedin, which were recovered on Weiner's computer.

Ultimately, the FBI announced it had found nothing illegal in those emails, though Clinton maintained the announcement cast a decisive shadow over the race's final days.

"Too little, too late," she wrote in her memoir What Happened. "The rest is history."