US & Canada

Anthony Weiner admits more online relationships

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAnthony Weiner: "I got help"

New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has admitted exchanging racy messages with three other women since resigning from Congress in 2011 over a similar scandal.

The married father of one, who on Tuesday acknowledged a raunchy online liaison with another woman last year, told reporters: "It's behind me".

Mr Weiner has so far defied calls to drop out of the election race.

A new poll suggests the 48-year-old has fallen behind his closest rival.

He now trails City Council Speaker Christine Quinn by 9%, according to a survey taken on Wednesday.

In addition, 55% of Democrats have an unfavourable view of him. Earlier polls taken before the revelations suggested Mr Weiner was neck and neck with Ms Quinn in the Democratic primary race.

An addiction?

On Tuesday, the candidate apologised in a hastily arranged press conference hours after it emerged he had used the alias Carlos Danger during an explicit six-month cyber liaison with a woman in 2012.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAnthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, on Tuesday: "I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him."

While he has since tried to switch the focus of his campaign to voter concerns, questions from journalists about his penchant for X-rated online flirting have refused to go away.

On Thursday, Mr Weiner held another news conference to admit exchanging sexually charged messages with yet more women since quitting Congress in 2011.

"I don't believe I had any more than three," he said, refusing to give further details.

When asked if he thought his pattern of behaviour was an addiction, Mr Weiner replied: "I don't believe that it is. The people that I'm working with don't believe that it is."

"The point is that it's behind me," he added. "I have worked through these things."

He also said he had traded racy exchanges with six to 10 women while serving in Congress.

When he quit in 2011 after it emerged he had posted lewd images of himself on Twitter, he said there had been about six women.

On Tuesday, Mr Weiner said his explicit messages with one woman had continued into summer last year.

At the time, he and his wife were part of a public relations effort to project an image of a healing marriage.

Huma Abedin, a former Hillary Clinton adviser who is Mr Weiner's spouse and mother of his one-year-old son, stood by him at Tuesday's press conference.

The top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, commented about the scandal on Thursday.

Ms Pelosi said Mr Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner - who has been accused of sexual harassment - should seek therapy. But she did not call on Mr Weiner to leave the race.

"The conduct of some of these people that we're talking about here is reprehensible," she said.

"It is so disrespectful of women, and what's really stunning about it is they don't even realise it. They don't have a clue."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites