A married US Representative has admitted having a string of inappropriate relationships on the internet and lying over an intimate picture of himself he posted on Twitter.
New York Democrat Anthony Weiner said he was deeply ashamed, but would not resign.
He told a news conference: “Last Friday night I Tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realised I had posted it to Twitter I panicked, I took it down and said that I had been hacked.”
Weiner said he sent several personal images of himself to other women he met online too.
During his emotional news conference he denied using his congressional mobile to conduct his online affairs.
“I brought pain to people I care about the most and people who believed in me, and for that I am deeply sorry. I apologise to my wife and our families,” he went on.
Weiner was married by the former president Bill Clinton. His wife Huma Abedin is a long-serving member of Hillary Clinton’s staff.
Many commentators believe his chances of running for New York mayor in 2013 are in tatters.