Huma Abedin is a longtime political aide and confidante to American politician and diplomat Hillary Clinton. After serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton during her tenure as 67th United States secretary of state, Abedin became the Vice-Chair of Clinton’s 2016 campaign for President of the United States. Abedin has been a subject of years of tabloid mockery and humiliation due to her husband Anthony Weiner’s Sexting Scandal.
Huma Mahmood Abedin was born on 28 July 1975 (age 47 years; as of 2022) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, US. Her parents moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when Huma was two years old. She attended a British girls’ school in Jeddah. Abedin grew up traveling around the world with her Pro-Sharia academic parents who advocated legitimate rights for minority Muslim communities. While describing her childhood in an interview, she said,
I learned so much about the world by traveling. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave us were going on trips every summer when they were not working. We traveled through Europe, Asia and the Middle East. If my parents were attending a conference somewhere, they would take us along.”
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Sayed Zainul Abedin, hailed from India, while her mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, was Pakistani. Saleha Abedin’s family had relocated from India to Pakistan during the partition in 1947. Both her parents received doctoral degrees in Islamic affairs from the University of Pennsylvania, US. Later, her parents moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they served as professors at King Abdulaziz University. With the backing of Abdullah Omar Nassef, then the president of King Abdulaziz University, her father founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a think tank, and became the first editor of its Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Syed Abedin died in 1993 due to progressive renal failure. Initially a sociology lecturer, Saleha Mahmood Abedin later became the vice president of Dar Al-Hekma University, Jeddah. Saleha Abedin has ties with numerous Islamist organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Her brother, Hassan Abedin, is an associate editor with the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), the in-house publication of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). Earlier, he was a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. Her sister, Heba Abedin, is a fashion consultant, who deals in Public Relations and provides Media and Branding services.
Husband & Children
On 10 July 2010, Huma Abedin got married to Anthony Weiner, a former American politician, at the fairytale-like Oheka Castle in Long Island, New York, in a garden ceremony.
Together, they have a son, Jordan Zain Weiner (born in 2011).
Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal
Huma Abedin’s personal life came under public scrutiny in 2011 when Anthony Weiner used his public Twitter account to send a link containing a sexually explicit photograph of himself to a woman who was following him on Twitter. The second sexting scandal began on 23 July 2013 when Weiner sent explicit photos under the alias “Carlos Danger” to a 22-year-old woman, later identified as Sydney Leathers. The New York Times After the New York Post reported that Weiner had again sexted a woman in August 2016, Huma announced her separation from Weiner. While announcing the separation, she said,
After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”
In September 2016, Weiner engaged in sexting with a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina following which he was sentenced to 21 months in prison for transferring obscene material to a minor.
Anthony Weiner first asked Huma Abedin out during a Democratic National Committee retreat on Martha’s Vineyard in August 2001. Consequently, Weiner and Abedin kept running into each other on various political occasions over the next six years. Their relationship took a romantic turn during Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. In her memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, Abedin revealed that due to her family’s conservative Muslim beliefs, she was expected to remain a virgin until her marriage. The Guardian Hence, Weiner, who was later convicted of sex offenses, didn’t even kiss Huma until a year into their relationship. Additionally, Weiner, who is Jewish, stopped consuming alcohol and eating pork and fasted during Ramadan for her Muslim girlfriend. In her memoir, she revealed that Weiner was her first boyfriend. She wrote,
It was a real journey for me to get to a place where I could allow myself to marry someone outside my faith. But he was my first love, and my greatest soulmate …”
Following Weiner’s endless sex scandal until 2016, Abedin filed for divorce in 2017. In 2022, dating rumors of American actor Bradley Cooper and Huma Abedin surfaced on the internet and media. Page Six
Abedin began her career in 1996 as an intern at the White House, where she was assigned to first lady Hillary Clinton’s office. Since then she has been working as an aide to Clinton. She was a personal aide to Clinton during her successful 2000 campaign for U.S. Senate.
During Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Huma served as the traveling chief of staff and assistant to Clinton. Abedin served as the deputy chief of staff to Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. She went on maternity leave for a while in 2011. In June 2012, she left her position as Deputy Chief of Staff and became a special government employee, essentially a consultant. Despite the change, she was publicly referred to as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Being appointed as a special government employee enabled Huma to work for private clients as a consultant, meanwhile continuing her work at the State Department. In 2012, Abedin worked for the strategic consulting firm Teneo and Clinton Foundation. Abedin worked in a personal capacity for Hillary Clinton when she transitioned out of her job as secretary of state. She was the Vice-Chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Kiss from a US senator
In her memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, she described an incident in which she was kissed by a US senator. In her book, she wrote
He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa…I was so utterly shocked, I pushed him away. All I wanted was for the last 10 seconds to be erased.”
Abedin did not mention the name of the senator or his party or give any clues as to his identity. Although many media houses labeled it as a sexual assault, The Guardian Abedin dismissed it as an awkward moment from which she wanted to extricate herself. The Guardian In an interview, she said,
But in my own personal opinion, no, did I feel like he was assaulting me in that moment? I didn’t, it didn’t feel that way. It felt like I needed to extricate myself from the situation. And he also spent a lot of time apologising and making sure I was OK and we were actually able to rebalance our relationship.”
She said that she had buried her memories of the incident until allegations against supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh popped up in 2018 and triggered her memory.
Accused of Terrorist Infiltration
In June 2012, five US Republican congressmen, sent a letter to the State Department Inspector General asking them to investigate the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on State Department policy, citing a report by the Center for Security Policy that reported Huma Abedin’s father, mother, and brother were connected to Muslim Brotherhood organizations. There were claims that Abdullah Omar Nassef, the man who aided Abedin’s parents to settle in Jeddah, once had ties to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Vanity Fair
The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis and no merit.”
Hillary Clinton Email Controversy
During her tenure as United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton attracted controversy for using a private email server for official public communications instead of using official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. Clinton’s server was found to hold over 100 emails containing classified information, including 65 emails deemed “Secret” and 22 deemed “Top Secret.” In early October 2016, FBI criminal investigators who were working on the sexting case involving Anthony Weiner and a fifteen-year-old girl discovered emails from Huma Abedin, vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, that they considered potentially relevant to the Clinton server investigation. On 6 November 2016, in a letter to Congress, the FBI said that they reviewed all of Clinton’s emails and recommended no charges against Clinton and Abedin. NBC News
- Since childhood, Huma was inspired by Christiane Amanpour and wanted to be a journalist like her. Therefore, when Abedin started interning at the White House in 1996, she expected to assume a position in the press office. Regardless, she established her political career after being assigned to First Lady Hillary Clinton’s office.
- Her elegant wardrobe and penchant for designer handbags gained her immense popularity during Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
- Like her brother, Huma Abedin also worked as an assistant editor for the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), the in-house publication of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA).
- Abedin first encountered her husband’s infidelity when she found a flirty email from a stranger on Weiner’s phone not long before their wedding. However, Weiner dismissed it as fan mail and Abedin believed him.
- Media housed often refer to her as Clinton’s surrogate daughter, Clinton’s body woman, and Clinton’s second shadow. The Times of India
- Abedin wore her Pakistani grandmother’s heirloom necklace on her wedding day.
- She was listed in Time magazine’s 40 under-40s list in 2010.
- In 2013, Chuck Grassley raised questions about Abedin’s work citing the fact that she had four other jobs while working at the State Department which included working as a part-time aide to Clinton at the State Department, Clinton’s personal assistant, and consultant at Teneo Holdings and Clinton Foundation. He also alleged that Abedin had violated the rules governing vacation and sick leave during her tenure on the payroll as a Federal employee as she was overpaid by almost $10,000 for unused leave time when she left the government. Later, the accusations were dismissed when her lawyer, Miguel Rodriguez, revealed that Abedin had earned the extra pay by working while she was on maternity leave.
- Apart from English, she can also speak Urdu and Arabic.
- She featured in the 2016 American political documentary film ‘Weiner.’ The documentary revolved around Anthony Weiner’s campaign for Mayor of New York City during the 2013 mayoral election.
- In July 2022, Indian actress Freida Pinto announced she would be developing and starring in a TV series based upon Abedin’s memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds (2021). It was also announced that Abedin will be an executive producer of the show along with Emily Verellen.