New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has said he will not drop out of the race after admitting he shared explicit photographs and online conversations with a woman, in the second such extra-marital scandal he has faced.
The correspondence was posted on Monday by a gossip website, The Dirty. The woman involved, who was not identified, says their online-only relationship began in July 2012 when she was 22, and lasted for six months.
Weiner, 48, who has topped polls for the New York mayoral race, was forced to resign from Congress for posting explicit pictures of himself by mistake on Twitter in 2011.
Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime adviser to former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, flanked him at a news conference in New York on Wednesday and said she was standing by him.
"I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York," Weiner said. "I hope they're willing to still continue to give me a second chance."
Abedin said Weiner had "made some horrible mistakes," but that she had forgiven him.
This is entirely behind me. There is no question that what I did was wrong.
Weiner resigned his Congressional seat in June 2011 after acknowledging having sexual conversations online with at least a half-dozen women.
The 48-year-old Weiner acknowledged some of the most recent activity took place after he resigned. He repeated that he put such behavior behind him before deciding to run for mayor.
"This is entirely behind me,'' Weiner said. "There was no question that what I did was wrong."
The allegation could severely test voters' willingness to forgive Weiner, who has said he spent the two years since the scandal trying to earn redemption. Three of his rivals for mayor immediately called on Weiner to drop out of the race.
The woman involved in the latest exchanges with Weiner claimed he used the alias "Carlos Danger'' when they interacted, but she knew she was talking to the former congressman.
The exchanges posted on The Dirty consist of sexually explicit fantasising about various sex acts. The site also ran a pixelated photograph of what appears to be a man's genitals
At one point, the man reported to be Weiner wrote, "I'm deeply flawed.''