June 8, 2011— -- Huma Abedin, the wife of embattled New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, is in the early stages of her first pregnancy, sources close to the couple told ABC News.
While Abedin is reportedly devastated by her husband's admission of risque online chats and photo swaps with other women, she's told friends she is still committed to the marriage and wants to help Weiner salvage his political career.
The Democratic congressman confessed Monday to lying about sending a photo of his crotch via Twitter to 21-year-old Seattle college student Gennette Cordova and five other women in the last three years.
Friends say that Abedin, who is a top aide to Hillary Clinton, did know that Weiner had a "problem" before their marriage, but he promised he was past that.
Weiner, 46, and Abedin, 35, have only been married 11 months.
Abedin, say friends and colleagues, still believes she can salvage his political career and wants to help him do that. She has been leaning on and getting advice from her boss, Hillary Clinton, and her sister, say friends.
Abedin left Wednesday night for the Middle East with Clinton and has been by her side constantly. Efforts by ABC News to reach her for comment have been unsuccessful.
The friends say that although she has been looking anguished, Abedin has otherwise not wavered in her high-intensity job as Clinton's closest aide.
They added that the secretary of state and Abedin are equally devastated by the scandal.
Friends say Abedin learned that he had lied over the weekend. She was shocked on his behalf for days that someone would hack into his Twitter account -- a story that turned out to be untrue.
They say she adores Weiner, that he "makes her laugh" and draws her out, and he "worships" her.
Weiner, himself, told reporters Monday, "We have no intention of splitting over this. We have been through a lot together. We will weather this. I love her. She loves me."
Those close to Abedin say she still may not understand the full implications of the damage he's done to career and marriage. They say she is working through that because it is so far away from her fairly sheltered world.
Abedin began her career in 1996 as a White House intern, then later served as Hillary Clinton's traveling chief of staff and "body woman" during her 2008 presidential campaign.
Born in Kalamazoo, Mich., she is the daughter of an Iranian scholar of Indian descent and a Pakistani mother who is a sociology professor in Saudi Arabia, where she was raised. She came to the United States to attend George Washington University.
Strikingly beautiful, her only foray into the public eye was cooperating with a 2007 feature in Vogue magazine. During the interview she told the magazine that she "grew up in a very traditional family, but there was never anything I didn't think I could do.
"I remember going with my parents to weddings where the women would arrive covered in black veils, but underneath they'd be wearing the most exquisite brightly colored Dolce & Gabbana suits," said Abedin. "They were like peacocks showing off their tails."
Huma Abedin Featured in Vogue
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who is a friend of both Hillary Clinton and Abedin, called both women "workaholics."
He described Abedin as "an unbelievably feminine and gentle person, but at the same time she can accomplish so much."
He also noted that as a practicing Muslim and Arabic speaker, "she's very conservative."
Actress Mary Steenburgen, a longtime friend of the secretary of state, said in the same article that the two women's relationship was "more like an older sister-younger sister."
Weiner was described in a 2007 New York Observer article as "a swingingly single Brooklyn Democrat." In that same article he described Abedin's ability to hold up under pressure "preternaturally."
"This notion that Senator Clinton is a cool customer -- I mean, I don't dispute it, but the coolest customer in that whole operation is Huma," he said. "In fact, I think there's some dispute as to whether Huma's actually human or not."
Press reports have called Abedin "unflappable," but that may not still be the case.
"Anybody who is so imprudent to do any of this, is mind-boggling to me," wrote Roxanne Roberts about the affair in the gossip column, "The Reliable Source," which she co-authors for the Washington Post. "From a purely practical standpoint -- what was he thinking?"
ABCNews.com made calls to both Weiner and Abedin that were not returned.
The couple -- with some irony noted by pundits -- was married last July by former President Bill Clinton, who was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998 over an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
When he officiated at the Long Island ceremony, Bill Clinton reportedly toasted Abedin, saying she was like a daughter to him.
Hillary Clinton weathered the same public humiliation when her husband was unfaithful with a White House intern, yet chose to stand by her man.
"The thought did cross into my mind -- 'Who is the person most upset about these circumstances?' -- and I am guessing it's probably a tie," said Roberts. "I bet it's both these women."
"[Abedin] has been extremely private about her longtime relationship working for Hillary Clinton," she said. "She has established a reputation for someone completely loyal and utterly discreet."
Whether she takes the Clintons' path or ultimately leaves Weiner is anyone's guess.
"I would never even attempt to speculate," said Roberts. "Nobody knows much about her emotional life or how she will likely process this. It all goes back to the old dictum -- you can't know what a marriage is like by just looking in."
"He's in deep, deep trouble," said Judy Kuriansky, a psychologist who specializes in relationships and teaches at Teachers College, Columbia University.
"This is really horrendous -- this puts her in an extremely compromised position," said Kuriansky. "Whatever she decides to do, I believe she is consulting with Hillary."
"To my mind, psychologically, she has other people to please and this happens with other wives," she said. "You must take that into account."
Kuriansky, like Roberts, is shocked that Weiner and so many other notable male politicians have risked their political futures for sex -- virtual or otherwise.
"We could go on and on, we have seen this many times before," said Kuriansky. "It's the same thing for all of them. They are high-energy people. They direct it erroneously into the sexual area and should direct it somewhere else. You saw it in JFK and Jefferson -- they feel privileged or they get away with it and think they are above the law."
Eliot Spitzer, another New York Democrat, resigned as New York governor in 2008 after being caught cavorting with New Jersey prostitute Ashley Dupre. He is now a news commentator for CNN.
Monday night, just after the scandal broke open, Spitzer interviewed political pundits, openly disclosing to the TV audience his own sordid affair.
"Not only do they get away with it, they get higher in their careers," said Kuriansky. "People forgive and forget and go on. It's the same with rock stars and celebrities. They are allowed. As Americans we make a big to-do, then we give them a pass."