CNN chief legal analyst and New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended by The New Yorker after he was caught “exposing himself” on a Zoom call between staffers from The New Yorker and WNYC radio.
In a statement to Vice, Toobin said: “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”
“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,” he added.
According to Vice, Toobin’s Condé Nast email account has been disabled.
Toobin will be taking some time away from CNN as well. A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser: “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”
Toobin’s most recent appearance on CNN was this past Saturday during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
*UPDATE: Vice has new reporting out alleging that Toobin was not just “exposing himself,” but actually masturbating while on the Zoom call.
Two people who were on the call told Vice separately that the videoconference was an election simulation featuring The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer playing establishment Republicans, Evan Osnos was Joe Biden, Jelani Cobb was establishment Democrats, Masha Gessen played Donald Trump, Andrew Marantz was the far right, Sue Halpern was left-wing Democrats, Dexter Filkins was the military and Toobin playing the courts.
There were also a handful of other producers on the call from The New Yorker and WNYC.
Both people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, noted that it was unclear how much each individual person on the call saw, but both of the people we spoke to said that they saw Toobin jerking off. The two sources described a juncture in the election simulation when there was a strategy session, and the Democrats and Republicans went into their respective break out rooms for about 10 minutes. At this point, they said, it seemed like Toobin was on a second video call. The sources said that when the groups returned from their break out rooms, Toobin lowered the camera. The people on the call said they could see Toobin touching his penis. Toobin then left the call. Moments later, he called back in, seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see, and the simulation continued.