CNN correspondent Brian Stelter has been mocked for describing Jeffrey Toobin’s online masturbation scandal as an ‘accident’.
On Monday, it emerged that 60-year-old Toobin – who is a CNN legal analyst – recently pleasured himself while on a Zoom video call with staffers from the New Yorker magazine.
The following day, Stelter addressed the scandal surrounding his cable news colleague, writing on Twitter: ‘Jeffrey Toobin has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election. The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues in what he says was an accident.’
Stelter’s post was immediately met with derision from fellow Twitter users who accused him of downplaying the egregiousness of Toobin’s behavior.
‘I’ve never ‘accidentally’ masturbated in any situation and I’d guess that goes for 99.99 percent of people. What was accidental about it, that he was caught?’ one replied to Stelter.
Another wrote: ‘”I believed I was not visible on Zoom” is a lot like “I didn’t know there were cameras in the room where I exposed myself to the victim”. He was in a Zoom meeting with women on company time and couldn’t keep it in his pants? This is not just some embarrassing workplace mix-up.’
A third person chimed in: ‘Toobin was in a work situation. His behavior was completely inappropriate and borders on predatory. He needs to be more than side-lined. He should be fired.’
CNN correspondent Brian Stelter has been mocked for describing Jeffrey Toobin’s online masturbation scandal as an ‘accident’. Stelter is pictured left, Toobin at right
Stelter’s post was immediately met with derision from fellow Twitter users who accused him of downplaying the egregiousness of Toobin’s behavior
Toobin has been suspended from the New Yorker magazine – where has worked for 25 years.
Additionally, he is ‘taking time off’ from CNN, where he has also worked as a contributor since 2002.
But while some say he should be fired from his prominent on-air role, well-placed sources say he will ‘probably’ return to CNN once the scandal blows over.
‘He is one of the biggest faces on the network,’ one CNN insider told Fox News on Tuesday.
They added that Toobin was ‘too valuable of a commodity’ and ‘good on TV’.
However, the source conceded that the incident had been ‘humiliating’ for CNN.
A second source from the cable news network also stated that Toobin’s previous scandals could force them to sever ties with the star.
‘If this was an isolated incident, it would be a different story,’ the anonymous person Fox News.
Toobin (pictured left) is ‘taking time off’ from CNN, where he has also worked as a contributor since 2002. Even though the cable news network is reportedly ‘humiliated’ by their star’s Zoom scandal, sources say he will ‘probably’ return to the channel
Brian Stelter’s post was immediately met with derision from fellow Twitter users who accused him of downplaying the egregiousness of Toobin’s behavior
Toobin has previously been the subject of a high-profile paternity suit.
The CNN pundit has been married to wife Amy McIntosh for 34 years, and the pair share two daughters. However, that didn’t stop him from having a decade-long on-off affair with younger lawyer Casey Greenfield.
Greenfield got pregnant in 2008 and Toobin immediately questioned whether he was the parent, balking at taking a paternity test.
When she refused his money for an abortion, he made a counteroffer to ‘swap’ pregnancies — if she agreed to terminate her pregnancy he would pay for her to have a child with a sperm donor.
But Greenfield, who was 35 at the time, decided to go ahead and have the baby boy, whom she called Rory. On the day she gave birth she emailed Toobin, inviting him to meet his son. He didn’t reply.
Toobin has been married to his Harvard classmate Amy McIntosh (pictured together) for 34 years. They have two daughters. But that didn’t stop him having a decade-long on-off affair with 13-years-younger fellow lawyer Casey Greenfield
Greenfield decided to go ahead and have the baby boy, whom she called Rory. On the day she gave birth she emailed Toobin, inviting him to meet his son. He didn’t reply. Greenfield then sued her lover for child support, according to The New York Times. The case dragged through the courts for two years with Toobin contesting many aspects of his ex’s case
Greenfield then sued her lover for child support, according to The New York Times. The case dragged through the courts for two years with Toobin contesting many aspects of his ex’s case.
Eventually he took a DNA test that proved he was the father and Greenfield, the daughter of Toobin’s former CNN colleague Jeff Greenfield, won full custody of the boy, and given all decision-making rights on his upbringing.
‘Jeff and Casey saw each other off and on over the years,’ one source told the New York Daily News at the time.
‘She was married to someone else for two years. After her divorce, she started seeing Jeff again. He said he was going to leave his wife for her. But, by then, Casey had begun to distrust him. She suspected he had several other mistresses.’
Another source told the Daily News: ‘When Casey wouldn’t have an abortion, Jeff told her she was going to regret it, and that she shouldn’t expect any help from him.’
Toobin was also described as a sexual predator. A woman the Daily News described as ‘a well-known media figure’ claimed he had approached her at a party many years earlier. ‘He came up behind me and whispered in my ear,’ she told the paper.
The publication refused to say exactly what he allegedly said, claiming it was unfit for a family newspaper. ‘I couldn’t believe my ears. It was so disgusting. At the time, I never even knew people did that,’ the media figure said.
Though the newspaper did not reveal what he was after, the now-defunct website Gawker had no such qualms. ‘He had a bit of what could be deemed an anal fixation,’ it reported.
When the woman turned him down, she described how he allegedly followed her to her hotel room. ‘He tried to invite himself in. He said, ‘You know you want it.’ I said, ‘No, actually I don’t.’
Toobin was spotted walking his dog under the cover of darkness in Manhattan on Tuesday morning
‘He really chased me for a while. He called me at the office and left several sick messages,’ she said.
Toobin — who was once described as ‘the Tiger Woods of legal journalism’ — admitted visiting Velvet, a swingers’ club in Miami with political fixer Roger Stone in a 2008 New Yorker article.
‘A flat-screen television on the wall plays porn videos, and many clubgoers disappear into locker rooms and emerge wearing towels,’ he wrote.
‘From there, some of them go into a lounge, a Jacuzzi room, or one of about half a dozen private rooms to have sex—with their dates or with new acquaintances.’
Toobin did not reveal whether he actually hooked up in Velvet. He said Stone took him there because it is the place where a prostitute had told him of a date with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, which Stone later revealed, forcing Spitzer from office.
But it is his latest embarrassing brush with infamy that threatens to end Toobin’s lengthy career. The New Yorker, where he worked for 25 years, has suspended him while it carries out an investigation.
While some say he should be fired from his prominent media roles, well-placed sources say he will ‘probably’ return to CNN once the scandal blows over.
The Zoom call was for an ‘election simulation’ — so the magazine could work out many different outcomes of the upcoming vote. Toobin was playing the role of the courts while colleagues including Jane Mayer, Evan Osnos, Jelani Cobb and Sue Halpern played political parties and attorneys.
The meeting broke off briefly but Toobin’s camera kept rolling, two unidentified staffers say. He seemed to be on a second Zoom call when the break was over and people started returning to the video meeting room.
They say Toobin lowered his camera and he was seen touching his penis.
In a brief statement, Toobin said on Monday: ‘I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera.
‘I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no-one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.’
A spokesperson for the New Yorker confirmed that Toobin had been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
He last appeared on CNN, where he is the network’s chief legal analyst, on Saturday.
CNN has since said that Toobin had asked for some personal time off and has taken a leave of absence.
‘Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted,’ a spokesperson for the network said.
Toobin, who regularly uses Twitter, has been silent on social media since October 13.
The New Yorker magazine has suspended writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for exposing himself during a work Zoom call