Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN following the masturbation scandal and admits it was'moronic'.
On Thursday afternoon, Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN and admitted that masturbating during a Zoom call — for which he was fired from the New Yorker and forced to take a leave of absence from the network — was "deeply moronic and indefensible."
“I believe we should discuss what has occurred in the months since we last saw you,” CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota said to Toobin, the network's chief legal analyst.
"To borrow a phrase from Jay Leno, 'What the hell were you thinking?'"
Toobin, dressed in a navy blue suit and striped tie, responded that the masturbatory behavior was deeply moronic and unjustifiable.
“I didn't believe anyone could see me,” he admitted to Camerota on "CNN Newsroom," but admitted that was no excuse for his actions.
“I have attempted, and continue to attempt, to express my sincere and sincere apologies. I'm sorry to my wife and family first and foremost, but I'm also sorry to the people on the Zoom call, to my former colleagues at the New Yorker, to my current, fortunately, still colleagues at CNN, and to the people who read my work and watched me on CNN and believed I was a better person than this.”
In October, the Harvard alum was caught indulging himself during a Zoom call with some of the magazine's most prominent figures.
Following a three-week investigation, Condé Nast, the New Yorker's parent company, announced that he was being let go after 27 years as a staff writer, and he also took a leave of absence from CNN.
On Thursday, Toobin told Camerota that he believed the glossy's punishment was "excessive" and that he is "extremely grateful to CNN for rehabilitating me."
“I'm attempting to re-establish myself as a person in whom people can place their trust,” Toobin explained. “I am a fallible human being who makes errors... It was wrong, it was stupid, and I'm working to improve myself.”
He described the last seven months as "miserable," but he has spent the time attempting to improve himself through therapy, public service, volunteering at a food bank, and writing a new book.
According to CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, Toobin requested time off to deal with a "personal issue," which the network granted. That time off then became a leave of absence, which apparently ended on Thursday, eight months later.
Stelter reported, citing a CNN spokesperson, that Toobin will return to CNN regularly as a chief legal analyst, despite his flagrant misconduct at the New Yorker.
Stelter reported that several CNN anchors and hosts "expressed a desire to have Toobin back on their shows," citing Toobin's decades-long tenure as a leading legal voice on television.
Apart from discussing the masturbation incident, Camerota discussed a legal case out of California with Toobin before the segment concluded.