Sunday, June 5, 2011
Rep. Weiner's playboy past
Sexting crotch shots isn't usually his style.
So say ex-girlfriends of Rep. Anthony Weiner, who tell The Post that the Queens and Brooklyn congressman -- despite his reputation as a womanizer -- can be quite the gentleman.
"The rap he gets is that he's a smooth operator," says Fox news analyst and occasional Post contributor Kirsten Powers, who dated Weiner for three months in 2002. "But he's very sweet, very funny, very charming."
Weiner married Huma Abedin, Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aide, in July 2010 -- but "everybody knows Anthony is a bit of a cowboy," says one New York political player.
While a City Council member in the 1990s, Weiner pursued interns, but as his profile rose over the last decade, he was able to raise his own bar, chasing a slew of smart, attractive glamour girls.
In addition to Powers, he dated former New York magazine publicist Serena Torrey (she later married Theodore Roosevelt V), TV journalist Gigi Stone and television producer Alli Joseph, whose blog lists "[driving] her convertible with her knees" as a favorite pastime.
According to one ex-girlfriend, Weiner spent years mooning over Abedin but his active social life perhaps kept her from taking it seriously. Weiner's preoccupation with beautiful women extended to his policy prescriptions: In 2008, he co-authored a much-mocked bill that would have loosened immigration restrictions on foreign supermodels.
The model, the bill said, should have "distinguished merit and ability."
Back on Earth, Powers and Weiner met at the now-defunct dive bar Siberia, on Manhattan's West Side. He called her the next day, and they began dating immediately, having low-key dinners at Dos Caminos or catching movies in Chelsea, her neighborhood.
The only thing that struck her as odd was that "women would frequently just walk right up and shove their business cards at him. He was just used to it; he'd say, 'Hi. How are you?' "
Powers says his ability to take such brash come-ons in stride was surprising, given how insecure he was. "He was self-deprecating about everything," she says. "He'd make jokes about his nose, his neck, about being skinny."
"I think he's the kind of guy who didn't get a lot of girls in high school and, all of a sudden, he got attention," says another ex-girlfriend, who asked to remain unnamed. She says that he pursued her doggedly and that, even though she wasn't attracted, she gave it a shot.
"He gets very smitten," she says. "He was very taken with me, in a very doting, admiring way."
Weiner made national news as a freshman congressman in 2001 when he made an appearance in a Vanity Fair story about sexual politics on Capitol Hill. He introduced himself to 22-year-old intern Diana Davis as "an auto-parts salesman" but later casually mentioned that he'd be joining the president on Air Force One to tour the smoldering wreckage at Ground Zero.
Weiner then e-mailed her the next day, suggesting she visit him on the Hill "in person." (As opposed to what?) Davis never replied.
"I thought that was cheesy," she told the magazine.
Weiner then lashed out in The Washington Post, saying he found it disgusting that two days after 9/11 -- an event he had used as a pickup opportunity -- Vanity Fair was covering sex on the Hill.
"I was shocked," he said.
As detailed in the article, Weiner successfully toggles between the nerdy, nebbishy boy from Queens and the sophisticated DC power player who pairs up with chic, sharp women.
"His type isn't unusual in politics," another ex says. "A lot of geeky guys are suddenly the chief of staff" -- which in DC makes them alpha males.
"I don't think our romance was the norm," she says. "Everyone who knew him thought it was kind of whirlwindish."
"I think everyone knows about Anthony's reputation," a longtime male friend tells The Post. "He's a very charming, engaging guy."
So charming, in fact, that Powers was shocked when he broke it off.
"I think he's the only guy who ever dumped me!" she says, laughing. "I think he probably dumped a lot of girls. I don't think it was that big of a deal."
But the newly minted ladies' man couldn't always get what he wanted. The girl Weiner spent months pursuing finally cut it off when he asked her to accompany him on a weeklong getaway, and her heart sank when she realized she didn't want to go.
He was, she insists, "a great boyfriend, a good guy."
That said, she can see Weiner tweeting that crotch shot. "I just don't think he would ever do that if he was married," she says. "If he were still single, maybe."