‘Embarrassingly stupid’: Journalist suspended after 'masturbating' on Zoom call

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read

A prominent New York lawyer, author and TV personality has allegedly been caught masturbating during a Zoom conference call.

Vice News first reported that an unwitting Jeffrey Toobin exposed himself during a Zoom meeting with staffers of the New Yorker and WNYC radio last week.

The video call was to prepare for the upcoming US presidential election and included some of the magazine’s most senior personnel.

Mr Toobin, who has a large social media presence with more than 270,000 Twitter followers, said he was unaware his camera was on and that he could be seen by others.

“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologise to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” he told Vice publication Motherboard.

“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,” he added.

Jeffrey Toobin pictured on the CNN set with his dog.
Accomplished author and TV analyst Jeffrey Toobin has apologised to his wife and family. Source: Twitter/Jeffrey Toobin

Anonymous members on the call told Vice they could see Mr Toobin touching himself during an interval with side discussions in the Zoom meeting.

Following the report on Monday (local time), Mr Toobin has been suspended by the New Yorker and is stepping away from his job as CNN’s senior legal analyst pending what the cable network is calling a “personal matter.”

In a statement on Monday afternoon, the New Yorker said the author and TV commentator had been “suspended while we investigate the matter.” It declined to comment further when approached by the Associated Press.

Meanwhile a CNN spokesperson said in a statement that “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”

The 60-year-old Mr Toobin has been a New Yorker writer for more than 20 years and joined CNN in 2002.

He is the author of several books, most recently True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump, published in August while his other works include The Run of His Life: The People v. OJ Simpson and The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.

with AP

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