The New York Times finally published their juicy story detailing the second lives of the women on the receiving end of Anthony Weiner's dirty chats and twitpics, and the juicy details aren't quite as salacious as this tabloid-perfect mayoral race comeback would have you believe: Three of the women have (somehow) become friends through their shared misery, and one is (still) writing a tell-all.
The nearly 1,400-word story, written by the Times veteran political reporter and self-described "inveterate gossip" Michael Barbaro, was inadvertently published two weeks ago. It was then rather scandalously pulled from the Times site — scandalous if only because Weiner's history continues to lend itself to intense speculation and bad punny headlines, no matter how many tabloid-proof quotes Weiner lobs back as he runs from behind for mayor of New York.
But in interviews with three of the five women embroiled in the sexting-and-topless-photo scandal heard 'round Twitter and Washington, and a statement from another, Barbaro, at last, paints the sad picture of their post-scandal lives. Lisa Weiss, a 42-year-old blackjack dealer, gets made fun of by her customers fairly often. Gennette Cordova, a 21-year-old college student when the Weiner scandal broke a little over two years ago, still denies ever sending Weiner anything inappropriate and is now trying to "reclaim her identity" — and Google search results — after receiving that infamous boxer-shorts image. Traci Nobles, a former school teacher (and cheerleading coach), was forced to quite her job after her name was included in so many news reports that her employers at a Young Women's Christian Organization just could not handle. (She's still writing that book we heard about a while back, apparently.)
The shared experience of the women involved has brought several of them together, for a kind of online group therapy. Ms. Weiss said she had discussed Mr. Weiner with both Ms. Nobles and Ms. Cordova.
“We all kind of commiserated,” Ms. Weiss said. “They were all very supportive.”
Whether or not there's some sort of book club involved or just an email chain is still unclear, but that's kind of nice, no? Three women who share a common history of naughty messages with Anthony Wiener — and crumbling social and personal lives thereafter — bond over their shared recovery from illicit accident gone horribly wrong. That's a heartwarming story, in a way. And maybe next month they can go over Nobles' tell-all, I Freinded You (sic on purpose). They'll probably have a lot to say.
It should be noted that the Times published their story today just hours after Buzzfeed's Andrew Kazcynski tried to compile different quotes from the originally published article by sourcing them from Google Reader. But the Times claims there's no direct connection: "Our editors decide when a story is ready for publication. Outside coverage does not play a role in that decision," a Times spokesperson told Politico's Dylan Byers. Either way, this is kid stuff compared to the hard hit Weiner took in the Times last week.
Update, 5:43 p.m.: It doesn't take long to get a response when Anthony Weiner is on the campaign trail. In an interview with City and State, Weiner apologizes again and does his best not to push the story further:
"I’ve said many times when ever I was asked that I have deep regret for the women’s lives who were turned upside down by their unwitting involvement in all of this," Weiner said. "One of the reasons I had been so reluctant to speak about them is that they’re entitled to their privacy and I want to reiterate that sense of apology, and I’ve never talked about the private exchanges that we’ve had and I never will, because I think that they’ve already been put through enough."