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'What the hell were you thinking?': CNN host confronts Jeffrey Toobin about on-camera masturbating scandal as network reinstates shamed legal analyst

Image source: Twitter/Curtis Houck video screenshot

Remember Jeffry Toobin? He's the longtime CNN legal analyst and former New Yorker staff writer who was caught masturbating on camera during a work Zoom call in October. Following the incident and a subsequent investigation, Toobin lost his New Yorker gig and took a many-months-long "leave of absence" from CNN.

Toobin's ordeal and sudden unemployment was mocked and celebrated by many on the right. However, his left-wing coworkers were a bit more reticent — except for CNN's oft-mocked media critic Brian Stelter, who complained that Toobin was "sidelined at a pivotal moment" just before the 2020 election.

Now, after several months of being off the air, Toobin is back at the liberal cable network that was apparently unable to find any other legal analysts able to perform and gratify the audience the way Toobin does.

But not before suffering the indignity of being interviewed on air by a female co-worker about his caught-on-camera shame.

What did he say?

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota introduced Toobin's return by first highlighting and detailing his embarrassing moment and then asking, "What the hell were you thinking?"

"Obviously I wasn't thinking very well or very much," Toobin replied.

He noted that he thought he had turned off his camera and said, "I didn't think I was on the call. I didn't think other people could see me."

Toobin said that the circumstances did not excuse his behavior and called his actions "deeply moronic and indefensible."

He went on to apologize to his wife and family, CNN reported, and to the people who were on the call.

"And 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. 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," he said.

He also told Camerota that he had been in therapy and doing some public service like working at a food bank over the last several "miserable months" and is "trying to be a better person."

"I am trying to become the kind of person people can trust again," Toobin added.

According to CNN's Stelter, Toobin will be appearing on CNN regularly again as the network's chief legal analyst.

This story has been updated.

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