WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Jeffrey Toobin is back at CNN on Thursday after taking a leave of absence for eight months.
- CNN’s chief legal analyst was “caught masturbating on camera” in October last year.
- Toobin was fired by the New Yorker due to the incident.
Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN as the network’s chief legal analyst after taking a leave of absence for eight months.
In October, Toobin was caught masturbating by several colleagues at The New Yorker during a Zoom call. He appeared on CNN Thursday to address the Zoom incident, his firing from The New Yorker, and his continued employment at the network.
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera,” Toobin said in a statement after the incident. “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.”
Toobin offered a detailed explanation to CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota on CNN Newsroom Thursday.
“I didn’t think I was on the call. I didn’t think other people could see me,” he said, adding that he’d spent “seven miserable months” in the pursuit of “trying to be a better person.”
Toobin said that on the same day after the Zoom call, he started making apologies to his New Yorker colleagues, both publicly and privately.
He also said he’s very grateful to CNN for keeping him on staff.
When asked about not showing better judgment during the call, Toobin replied, “Because I didn’t have better judgment. Because I’m a flawed human being who makes mistakes.”
He added: “It was wrong, it was stupid and I’m trying to be a better person.” And then the two went on to discuss the news of the day, with Toobin doing his job as an analyst.
Toobin, who had worked as a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993, was initially suspended after the incident. He was eventually fired in November after an internal investigation was completed.
“I am writing to share with you that our investigation regarding Jeffrey Toobin is complete, and as a result, he is no longer affiliated with our company,” read a memo from Stan Duncan, chief people officer at Condé Nast. “I want to assure everyone that we take workplace matters seriously. We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels respected and upholds our standards of conduct.”
Toobin announced his New Yorker exit on Twitter at the time: “I was fired today by @NewYorker after 27 years as a Staff Writer. I will always love the magazine, will miss my colleagues, and will look forward to reading their work.”
Source: Yahoo News