Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN on Thursday for the first time since he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with his colleagues at The New Yorker, CNN reports.
Toobin, who was fired by the New Yorker last year and put on leave by CNN, returned for the first time in an interview with host Alisyn Camerota to discuss the incident.
"I feel like we should address what's happened in the months since we've seen you," Camerota said. "To quote Jay Leno, 'What the hell were you thinking?'"
Toobin said he did not realize he was still on camera at the time of the incident.
"I didn't think other people could see me," he said, adding that he is a "flawed human being who makes mistakes" and his behavior was "deeply moronic and indefensible."
Toobin touts public service:
Toobin expressed remorse and touted his public service during his time away.
"I'm sorry to the people who read my work and who watched me on CNN who thought I was a better person than this,” he said. “And so, you know, I got a lot to rebuild, but I feel very privileged and very lucky that I'm going to be able to try to do that.”
Toobin said he has spent his “miserable months” off the air "trying to be a better person," seeing a therapist and working at a food bank.
"I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again," he said.
Toobin officially back, CNN says:
Toobin will return to his role as the network’s chief legal analyst, a spokesman said.
Toobin said he believed his firing by The New Yorker was "excessive punishment."
"I was told very specifically by the people involved that they looked at my entire career ... and found there had been no complaints about me," he said. "No issues. ... It was just this incident."
"But look," he added, "that's why they don't ask the criminal to be the judge in his own case."