Author and legal analyst Jeffery Toobin made a surprising return to CNN on Thursday, apologizing for his Zoom mishap and vowing “to be a better person.”
Toobin was reintroduced to CNN viewers by anchor Alisyn Camerota, who had the unenviable task of summing up how Toobin was on a Zoom call with his colleagues at the New Yorker in October when an incident was captured on camera that cost him his job at the magazine.
“Everyone took a break for several minutes during which time you were caught masturbating on camera,” an awkwardly smiling Camerota explained.
“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? “
Toobin responded: “You’ve got it all right, sad to say.”
Camerota then references the famed 2005 episode of the “Tonight Show” when Jay Leno interviewed Hugh Grant, the actor’s first interview about his humiliating arrest for picking up a prostitute on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
“OK, so let’s start there. To quote Jay Leno, ‘What the hell were you thinking?'” Camerota said.
“Well, obviously, I wasn’t thinking very well or very much, and It was something that was inexplicable to me,” Toobin said.
The author of “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” explained that he believed he was off camera.
“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.
The famed legal scholar threw himself at the mercy of viewers, promising to become a better person.
“This was deeply moronic and indefensible, but that is part of the story,” Toobin explained.
“I have spent the seven subsequent months — miserable months in my life, I can certainly confess — trying to be a better person. I’m in therapy, trying to do some public service, working in a food bank which I certainly am going to continue to do.”