“For most of my life, I was viewed through the lens of others, a refraction of someone else’s pronoun. ‘They’ as in the parents who raised me; ‘she’ as in the woman I worked for; and ‘he’ as in the man I married,” Abedin said.
“Writing this book gave me the opportunity to reflect on my 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, 45, has known Clinton since 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.
“Over the years, we’ve shared stories about our lives, we’ve shared more meals than I can count, we’ve celebrated together, we’ve mourned together," Abedin said of Clinton in an August 2016 feature about the aide in Vogue, which called her “in many ways the engine at the center of Clinton’s well-run machine, crucial and yet largely out of sight.”
Clinton, mother of Chelsea Clinton, has spoken of Abedin as a second daughter. And 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. But 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, a scandal that unfolded on camera during the award-winning documentary “Weiner.”
Weiner 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 and, according to her publisher, she and Weiner are finalizing their divorce. (They agreed in 2018 to settle their divorce out of court).
Abedin's marriage, and her relationship with the Clintons, led to her being caught up in the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private computer server for her emails while she was secretary of state — an issue through much of the 2016 campaign.
Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in July 2016 that he would not recommend any criminal charges against Clinton even as he said she had been “extremely careless.” But in late October, less than two weeks before Election Day, he informed Congress that the bureau was reopening the case after emails between Clinton and Abedin were found on Weiner’s computer during the probe into the former congressman's sexting. The FBI reported a week later that nothing on the laptop changed the recommendation against charges, but Clinton has called Comey’s intervention — and the headlines it created — “the determining factor” in her narrow defeat to Trump.
In Clinton's 2017 memoir “What Happened,” she remembered being on the campaign plane when she and Abedin learned that the FBI probe had been reopened.
“When we heard this Huma looked stricken,” Clinton wrote. “Anthony had already caused so much heartache. And now this. ‘This man is going to be the death of me,’ (Huma) said, bursting into tears.” Clinton added that it was agonizing to see Abedin “in such distress.”
“Some people thought I should fire Huma or ‘distance myself.’ Not a chance," Clinton wrote. "I stuck by her the same way she has always stuck by me.”