Speed Reads

The big reveal

Sundance film documents juicy story behind Anthony Weiner scandal

Anthony Weiner and his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, agreed to allow documentary filmmakers full access to Weiner's mayoral campaign in 2013, unaware of the storm that lay ahead. In an exclusive first look before its Sundance debut, The New York Times says that the resulting film, Weiner, does not hold back on the juicy details of the scandal that followed.

In one described scene, Weiner races through the back halls of a McDonald's to avoid running into the woman he "sext" messaged; in another, Abedin tells her husband "with a hint of disgust" that she dislikes his pants. Other scenes are more telling:

Just after the news broke that Mr. Weiner had exchanged lewd messages with women online using the pseudonym Carlos Danger, Ms. Abedin maintained a steely calm.

When a young campaign staff member, on the verge of tears over the revelations, prepared to leave the couple's Park Avenue apartment, Ms. Abedin offered some advice. "Just a quick optics thing?" she said to the woman. "I assume those photographers are still outside. So, you will look happy?" The staff member agreed. [The New York Times]

The film arrives at an awkward time for Abedin and, more largely, Hillary Clinton — both of who have weathered the public humiliation that comes with a husband's sex scandal. Clinton in particular has faced recent criticism from the likes of Donald Trump, who has skewered her for a "terrible record of women abuse." Weiner notably is due out in theaters May 20, with a Showtime television premiere just weeks before the general election.

Abedin and Weiner have been refused a viewing of the film, despite repeated pleas.