Huma Abedin writes in her forthcoming book that a U.S. senator sexually assaulted her in her 20s, kissing her unprompted and forcing his tongue in her mouth as the two conversed in his apartment.
The longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, now 45, detailed the incident in her memoir Both/And: A Life in Many Words, set to be published next week, according to an excerpt obtained by the Guardian. Abedin withheld details of the senator’s identity, including his party affiliation, whether he is still in Congress, and which state he represented.
According to Abedin’s account, she and the senator met at a dinner attended by several other lawmakers and their aides in Washington, D.C., though not Clinton, who was New York’s senator and Abedin’s boss from 2001 until 2009. Following the meal, Abedin took a walk with the senator, who invited her into his apartment for coffee and, she wrote, “told me to make myself comfortable on the couch.”
“Then, in an instant, it all changed. He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa,” she writes.
Abedin, who said she was “so utterly shocked,” pushed the senator away. Her resistance surprised him, and he apologized, saying he had “misread” the situation and wanting to make up “without this ending badly,” she said.
Abedin wrote, “Then I said something only the twentysomething version of me would have come up with—‘I am so sorry’—and walked out, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible.”
A few days later, the two ran into one another on Capitol Hill, and the senator asked if they could still be friends. Clinton intervened in the exchange, “as if she knew I needed rescuing even though I’d told her nothing about that night,” according to Abedin. It is not clear if Abedin ever told Clinton about the alleged assault.
Abedin said she “buried the incident” until sexual assault allegations against future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh emerged in 2018.
Specifically, Abedin wrote, it was Professor Christine Blasey Ford “being accused of ‘conveniently’ remembering” the alleged attack against her that dredged up Abedin’s memory of her own alleged assault.
Another excerpt from Abedin’s memoir, published last week in Vogue, dealt with the high-profile implosion of her then-husband and New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s political career after he tweeted a nearly naked photo and then pleaded guilty to sexting a minor.
He was sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2017 and released after serving 18. She filed for divorce from Weiner following his conviction but withdrew the case the next year. The two have a six-year-old son.
“And then, just like that, life as I knew it was officially over. ‘It’s true,’ he said. ‘I sent the picture.’... I felt something explode inside my chest, and suddenly it was hard to breathe. I was simultaneously filled with rage and stunned to my core,” she wrote of the aftermath of Weiner’s scandals.