Filner is Not Alone: 5 Awkward Press Conferences from Political Sex Scandals

By An Phung
|  Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 6:14 PM EDT
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5 Awkward Press Conferences from Political Sex Scandals

AP

From left to right: Bob Filner, Jim McGreevey, Mark Sanford, Anthony Weiner

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner raised eyebrows on Friday when, instead of announcing his resignation, he told the press that he will check himself in for two weeks of intensive therapy amid allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior.

Filner, however, is not the first politician whose clumsy mea culpa made headlines in recent history. He is currently in good company with New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, who is on the other side of the country trying to sidestep his own sex scandal. Weiner confessed to sexting more women after he resigned from Congress in 2011.

Here is a look back at other awkward press conferences by politicians embroiled in sex scandals:

Weinergate Part 1
Anthony Weiner's first sexting scandal began in May 2011 when, during his tenure in Congress, he sent a sexually suggestive photo to a woman through Twitter. Although the embattled politician eventually confessed to his bad behavior, he at first denied that he posted the photo and blamed the tweet on hackers.

Larry Craig
The former Senator from Idaho was arrested on June 11, 2007 for lewd behavior after he solicited sexual activity from an undercover police officer at a Minnesota airport restroom. At the press conference following his guilty plea, he gave an awkward and robotic speech where he said he regretted his confession. "I am not gay. I never have been gay," he said. "In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away."

Jim McGreevey
The former New Jersey state senator outted himself and resigned on August 12, 2004 amid threats of a sexual harassment lawsuit from his gubernatorial campaign aide Golan Cipel. "I am a gay American," McGreevey said at the news event. He also confessed that he had "engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man," who many suspected was Cipel.

Mark Sanford
The former South Carolina governor admitted in a news conference in June 2009 that he had an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina after his whereabouts became the source of national attention. During his disappearance, one of his aides said he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. The news conference began rather oddly with Sanford talking on about his "love for the Appalachian Trail" and his need to get away from the public eye. After rambling on for several minutes, he issued apologies to his family and staff for his indiscretion and lies.

Bill Clinton
After the story broke that Bill Clinton had engaged in an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the former president attempted to squash the scandal by speaking out about it at a press conference about -- of all topics -- his education initiatives. His adamant denial became one of the most well-known soundbites in his presidency. "I did not have sexual relations with that women," Clinton said.

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