Toobin Signs Off at CNN

Legal analyst announces departure more than a year after end of his suspension
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 10, 2021 3:40 PM CDT
Updated Aug 12, 2022 5:30 PM CDT
Jeffrey Toobin Is Back on CNN After Zoom Offense
Jeffrey Toobin, shown in 2018, was off CNN for seven months.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Update: Jeffrey Toobin told colleagues Friday that he's decided to leave CNN after 20 years as a legal analyst for the network. "It was great to spend my last day on air, like so many before, with my pals at Sit Room, AC360 and Don Lemon Tonight," Toobin wrote, per Variety. "It's been a privilege (and fun) being your colleague." He gave no reason but said he's working on a book; it's not clear whether his contract was up. The network had put Toobin on leave after he exposed himself on a Zoom call, taking him back last summer. CNN issued a statement Friday wishing him well. Our story from June 2021 follows:

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin returned to the network Thursday for the first time in more than seven months after he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with colleagues at the New Yorker. Toobin, in an interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota, said that he was grateful to CNN for another chance and that he was "trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again." Camerota asked him bluntly, "What the hell were you thinking?" Toobin answered: "Obviously, I wasn't thinking very well or very much." Toobin was fired from the New Yorker after working there for 27 years, following an investigation into last October's Zoom call. He said he has no excuse for his conduct, but that he mistakenly thought he was off camera, the AP reports.

Being fired from the magazine was heartbreaking, he said. "I thought this punishment was excessive," he said. “But that's why they don't ask the criminal to be the judge in his own case." Toobin said he's been in therapy, apologized personally to those he let down, and has been doing community service at a food bank. He apologized to CNN viewers. "I've got a lot to rebuild," he said. "But I feel very privileged and very lucky that I have the opportunity to do that." CNN said it had no statement about his return. Following the interview with Camerota—done in studio and not remotely—Toobin launched into legal analysis of a California court decision overturning an assault weapons ban and upcoming events at the US Supreme Court. "Many of us have really missed having your legal analysis on our programs," Camerota said, "so let me be the first to welcome you back."

(More Jeffrey Toobin stories.)

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