- In “Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds,” the daughter of Indian and Pakistani scholars shares stories of her family, legacy, identity, faith, marriage, and motherhood.
Huma Abedin, the close aide to Hillary Clinton and estranged wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), is releasing a memoir this fall. In “Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds,” Abedin, the daughter of Indian and Pakistani scholars, shares stories of her family, legacy, identity, faith, marriage, and motherhood.
The book shares Abedin’s “personal accounts as a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton during her years as First Lady, U.S. Senator, a presidential candidate, Secretary of State, and Democratic Presidential nominee, and a candid and moving reckoning of Abedin’s marriage to former Congressman Anthony Weiner,” according to the publisher, Simon & Schuster’s website.
“I grew up surrounded by stories. I’m really excited to share mine with you,” Abedin wrote on Twitter. “It’s called ‘Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds’ and will be released on November 2.”
In a reply to Abedin’s tweet, Clinton wrote: “Writing a book isn’t easy, especially when you’re telling your own story. It takes courage and commitment—two things Huma has in spades. Thrilled for her and can’t wait for everyone to read it.”
After years of being “an object of speculation,” Abedin, 45, said her memoir “will allow her to define herself,” as per The Associated Press. “For most of my life, I was viewed through the lens of others, a refraction of someone else’s pronoun,” she said. “‘They’ as in the parents who raised me; ‘she’ as in the woman I worked for; and ‘he’ as in the man I married.”
She said writing the book gave her the opportunity to reflect on her own life — “from the nurturing family I was privileged to be born into, to working for one of the most compelling leaders of our time. This journey has led me through exhilarating milestones and devastating setbacks. I have walked both with great pride and in overwhelming shame. It is a life I am — more than anything — enormously grateful for and a story I look forward to sharing.”
Abedin was first introduced to Clinton when she was a student at George Washington University, when she worked as an intern in 1996 for the then-first lady. She was an aide to Clinton during Clinton’s successful run for the U.S. Senate in 2000; deputy chief of staff during Clinton’s years as secretary of state in the first term of the Obama administration, 2009-2013; and a top adviser during the 2016 election, when Clinton lost in a stunning upset to Republican Donald Trump. She currently serves as Clinton’s chief of staff.
Clinton has always spoken fondly of Abedin, and refereed to her as a second daughter. Former President Bill Clinton officiated at her 2010 wedding to Weiner, then a New York congressman seen as an emerging star in the Democratic Party.
However, Weiner’s career collapsed the following year after he acknowledged texting lewd photos of himself to several women. In 2013, he attempted a comeback by running for mayor of New York City, but his campaign was soon upended when it was revealed he continued sexting even after resigning from Congress. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to charges of sending sexual materials to a minor and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Abedin had announced their separation in 2016. Her publisher told AP that Abedin and Weiner are finalizing their divorce. (They agreed in 2018 to settle their divorce out of court).
In her political memoir, “What Happened” which was released in September 2017, Clinton says Abedin would have been her chief of staff, had she made it to the White House. There are several references to Abedin in her book.
Ironically, Abedin figures in one episode that could have well been the last nail in the Hillary Clinton campaign — when days before the election, FBI Director James Comey dramatically declared reopening of Clinton’s email investigation because of Abedin’s husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was being investigated for sexting with underaged girl. The FBI discovered emails from Clinton on Weiner’s laptop after it was confiscated during their investigation into his sexual perversities.
Here is how Clinton recalls that episode:
“I got off the plane and into the waiting motorcade, beckoning Betsy to join me in the car. What a relief to have my friend with me. By the time we finished the rally and got back to the plane, the team had learned more. I sat back down in my seat, across from Huma and Betsy, and asked Jennifer to fill me in. How much crazier could this story get? A lot.
“The unrelated federal investigation turned out to be the one into Huma’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. His lawyers had turned over a laptop of his to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. FBI agents from the New York field office searched the computer and found emails between Huma and me. When we heard this, Huma looked stricken. Anthony had already caused so much heartache, and now this. “This man is going to be the death of me,” she said, bursting into tears.
“After more than twenty years working with Huma, I think the world of her, and seeing her in such distress broke my heart. I looked at Betsy, and we both got up to comfort her. I gave her a hug while Betsy patted her shoulder.
“In the days that followed, some people thought I should fire Huma or “distance myself.” Not a chance. She had done nothing wrong and was an invaluable member of my team. I stuck by her the same way she has always stuck by me. The more we learned, the more infuriating the story became. The FBI didn’t ask Huma or me permission to read the emails it found, which we would have granted immediately. In fact, they didn’t contact us at all.”