Sydney Leathers, the woman behind Anthony Weiner's "second coming" only had revenge on her mind

Sydney LeathersTo be honest, I have been loathe to write about Sydney Leathers and Anthony Weiner. The entire affair, if you will excuse the pun, is so incredibly smarmy that it begs to be left alone.

Everyone and their mother has already written everything you can imagine on this scandal, from her “victimization” to his “addiction” to her “friend” who went on CNN and other cable news outlets, promoting himself and admitting that he and Ms. Leathers plotted ways to make money off her behavior.

Yes, her behavior. Ms. Leathers knew who Anthony Weiner was, she knew he was married and she entered into this online affair with both eyes wide open.

“But, Erin, she was so young, she was in love, he manipulated her and seduced her with power and she’s just an innocent girl!” She was twenty-two years old, two years older than I was when I had an affair with a married man.

Do I get or expect a pass for knowingly entering into a relationship with him? Of course not, and neither does Ms. Leathers. I was in love with him, and he said he was in love with me, but one night as the moonlight hit the diamonds in his wedding ring, I realized I could not do this anymore. Whatever his issues with his wife, they were his issues and I needed to get out of this horrific situation.

Ms. Leathers may get a pass for one thing – not understanding that they, men who cheat, rarely leave their wives. The whole point of having an affair is the affair. Men (and women) who cheat are not looking for a spouse, they are looking for a little something on the side. I know women who have been and still are mistresses, and they understand their place.

They understand that a romantic dinner may be postponed due to little Johnny’s flu or an exotic trip (under separate names, tickets and hotel rooms) can be cancelled at a moment’s notice because the Mrs. suddenly has a yen for shopping in Paris.

I will admit I do not understand how that life can make anyone happy. The joy of a relationship is walking hand in hand or kissing on a carousel or spending time together without having to hide and lie. It’s the knowledge that you are each other’s most important person, not second, third or fourth. That seems like a sad existence to me.

Ms. Leathers has also been quoted as saying she went public because she wanted the people of New York to know who Anthony Weiner really is. It couldn’t possible have anything to do with a text message he sent her, asking her to hard delete every single thing they had ever typed to one another, could it? Of course it could, and probably did.

Anthony Weiner and his wife
Anthony Weiner and his wife

Ms. Leathers finally understood that he would never leave his wife and child. He thought so little of their “love,” he wanted her to wipe all proof of it off the planet. And she got very, very angry.

Watching a portion of Ms. Leathers’ paid interview with ‘Inside Edition,” I paid special attention to her face. I wanted to see her sorrow, her anguish at this lost love, her emotional upheaval. There was none. She smiled, almost laughed, was composed and well-spoken, and she was filled to her pores with rage. I understand that.

Acknowledging that she was in love with a man who by all accounts is at the very least a huge schmuck, I understand how that text could have driven her over the edge. She felt betrayed, she felt abandoned, she felt like he was throwing her away.

Unfortunately, that is often the life of women who choose to become involved with married men. You don’t really matter, because again the whole point of this is the affair. And Ms. Leathers was being thrown away and abandoned, but she was not betrayed by Anthony Weiner. If she had not known who he was, if he had lied to her about his marital status, if he had told her he would leave his wife and child for her, then reneged on all of that, she would be betrayed.

I am in no way giving Anthony Weiner a pass (which is the feedback a friend of mine got when he wrote an article about Ms. Leathers, so I’m prepared for those comments). What he did in 2011, 2012 and for all we know is doing as I type this is despicable. Online or not, “sexting” or not, this man is cheating on his wife.

William Congreve wrote “Heaven has no rage like love turned to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” When I watched Ms. Leathers, I didn’t see sorrow or grief for a love affair gone terribly wrong. I saw a very angry, almost vengeful woman, bent on destroying the man she believes abandoned and betrayed her.

She is absolutely entitled to all those feelings and more. Ms. Leathers has apologized to Anthony Weiner’s wife, so obviously she has realized her participation in the affair. That is an important step. No matter what Ms. Abedin chooses to do regarding her marriage, she is not responsible in any way for Anthony Weiner’s behavior nor the behavior of Sydney Leathers.

My hope is that Sydney Leathers learns from this, grows as a person and comes out with a better sense of herself and her role in the universe. I do not presume to judge Ms. Leathers, being that I was her, twenty some years ago. My relationship was in “person,” but it’s the same emotions and the same lies you tell yourself.  Ms. Leathers must move her focus from money to self-examination and ask herself some very tough questions. Questions women just like her have been asking themselves for thousands of years.


  1. What would the pundits do without this kind of tawdry mess? Why is anyone surprised that this woman wants paid notoriety? How come these people are so clueless that they didn’t use something like snapchat? Everyone in this drama has an axe to grind, IMO. And while we pay attention to this freak show, nobody pays attention to gun control, the disastrous results of the Sequester, global warming/climate change, a frayed infrastructure, educational reform, the insanity of the GOP.

  2. On one hand, we have a public official who is bored with his typical “expected” life and wants to spice it up by getting a little nookie on the side or in this case, sexting. That’s what happens to men like him. They not only have to fulfill their duties, but must also be role models for everyone to follow. Some can handle this boring routine (how some guys refer to it) and others can’t. Sad really. On the other, you got this girl who wants to follow the trend and be the mistress. Her biggest problem here was that she is naive. She should’ve realized that there was no love involved, no sacrifice, no future with him, nothing except a man who chose to outsource for attention for whatever reason. She took it personal and you never mix business with pleasure. In the end, they’re both guilty…him for being a self-centered untrustworthy husband and her for being a naive foolish little girl who was in this fantasy world where she thought she could do like the movies (like sooooo many others out there).

  3. I think folks underestimate Ms. Abedin, and are placing their antiquated ideas of what marriage is or what they imagine it should be onto the couple. That’s as more of an intrusion into their marriage than what Ms. Leathers did. Making judgements about someone’s fitness as a public servant based on how he expresses his sexuality is certainly not permissible when the person is LGBT, why should it be when he’s a man in a straight, seemingly traditional marriage?

    • I’m not letting Ms. Leathers off the hook, but Anthony Weiner is the married person here. He said vows. Ms. Leathers did not. Anthony Weiner is seeking public office where he will be paid by tax dollars. Tax payers/voters have a right to expect a certain level of respectable behavior. If Anthony Weiner wants to live an alternate lifestyle, then perhaps public service is not the place for him. Maybe he should start a private practice and do anything that he wants. This behavior would be acceptable for a woman running for office. There is no reason to accept it from a married man.

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