Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN airwaves in the wake of his 2020 masturbation scandal

Toobin described his behavior as "deeply moronic and indefensible."

Updated: June 10, 2021 - 11:01pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


An apologetic Jeffrey Toobin appeared on CNN on Thursday after a months-long absence in the wake of being caught masturbating during a Zoom call last year.

"In October you were on a Zoom call with your colleagues from the New Yorker magazine," CNN's Alisyn Camerota said to Toobin. "Everyone took a break for several minutes during which time you were caught masturbating on camera. You were subsequently fired from that job after 27 years of working there. And you since then have been on leave from CNN. Do I have all that right?"

"You got it all right, sad to say," Toobin responded. He went on to explain that he didn't think other people could see him: "I think one point, I wouldn't exactly say in my defense, because nothing is really in my defense, I didn't think I was on the call, I didn't think other people could see me," he said.

"You thought that you had turned off your camera?" Camerota asked.

"Correct. I thought that I had turned off the Zoom call," Toobin said. "Now, that's not a defense. This was deeply moronic and indefensible," he said, noting that this aspect "is part of the story."

Toobin said he has been attempting "to be a better person," mentioning "therapy," "working in a food bank," and crafting a new book. "But I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again," he said.

"Above all, I am sorry to my wife and to my family but I am also sorry to the people on the Zoom call. I'm sorry to my former colleagues at the New Yorker. I'm sorry to my current, fortunately still colleagues at CNN," he said, adding that's he's also sorry to his readers and viewers who believed he "was a better person than this."