Clinton aide Abedin leaves husband Weiner after sexting report

August 29, 2016 11:57 AM EDT

New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

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By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Huma Abedin, one of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's top aides, said on Monday that she was separating from her husband, Anthony Weiner, after a sex scandal similar to an earlier incident that led him to resign from the U.S. Congress.

"After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband," Huma Abedin said in a statement.

"Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy," Abedin added.

Abedin’s announcement follows a New York Post report late Sunday that Weiner recently sent photos of his boxer-brief-clad genitals – one while he was in bed with their toddler son – via Twitter to another woman.

The photos were part of a months-long exchange between Weiner and the woman and many of the messages were sexual in nature, according to the Post report.

Weiner resigned in June 2011 from Congress, where he represented a New York City district, followed a sexting scandal in which he accidentally posted an explicit photo of himself on his public Twitter timeline instead of via a direct message to a woman, as he had intended.

When Weiner made a second unsuccessful run for New York City mayor, explicit photos surfaced in July 2013 that he had recently sent under the pseudonym "Carlos Danger" to a young woman in Indiana.

Weiner said he had undergone therapy after the first sexting scandal, according to media reports. In recent months, he has taken care of the couple's toddler son. Abedin often travels with the Clinton campaign.

Clinton's Republican rival, Donald Trump, said in a statement, "Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him."

Abedin first worked for Clinton in the 1990s as an intern when Clinton was first lady. She was a personal aide to Clinton during her successful 2000 campaign for U.S. Senate. Abedin worked on Clinton's first, unsuccessful White House bid in 2008 and served as her deputy chief of staff at the U.S. State Department. She is now the vice chair of Clinton's presidential campaign.

Weiner served in Congress, representing his district in New York City from 1999 to 2011. His first unsuccessful run for New York mayor was in 2005.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Caren Bohan and Jonathan Oatis)

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