Jeffrey Ross Toobin
May 21, 1960
New York City, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
|Occupation||Legal analyst, commentator|
|The New Yorker (1993–2020)|
CNN senior legal analyst (2002–present)
Amy Bennett McIntosh
During the Iran–Contra affair, he served as an associate counsel in the Department of Justice. He moved from government into writing during the 1990s, and wrote for The New Yorker from 1993 to 2020 when he was fired for masturbating on-camera during a video-conference call with co-workers. Toobin has written several books, including an account of the O. J. Simpson murder case. That book was adapted as a TV series, The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which aired in 2016 as the first season of FX's American Crime Story.
Toobin was born to a Jewish American family in New York City in 1960, a son of Marlene Sanders, former ABC News and CBS News correspondent, and Jerome Toobin, a news broadcasting producer. His younger brother, Mark, born in 1967 with Down syndrome, lived apart from the family.
He attended Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, and then Harvard College for undergraduate studies. He covered sports for The Harvard Crimson, where his column was titled "Inner Toobin". Toobin graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history and literature, and was awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he was classmates with Elena Kagan and graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. in 1986. While there, he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Toobin began freelancing for The New Republic while a law student. After passing the bar, he worked as a law clerk to a federal judge and then as an associate counsel for Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Iran–Contra affair and Oliver North's criminal trial. He next served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.
Toobin wrote a book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case: United States v. Oliver North, about his work in the Office of Independent Counsel, to which Walsh objected. Toobin went to court to affirm his right to publish. Judge John F. Keenan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote an opinion that Toobin and his publisher had the right to release this book. Before Walsh's appeal could be decided, the book was published, mooting the case. Accordingly the Circuit Court vacated the lower court's decision and ordered that the case be dismissed.
After three years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Toobin resigned from the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, where he had gone to work after working for Walsh, and abandoned "the practice of law." He started working in 1993 at The New Yorker and became a television legal analyst for ABC in 1996.
Toobin has provided broadcast legal analysis on many high-profile cases. In 1994, Toobin broke the story in The New Yorker that the legal team in O. J. Simpson's criminal trial planned to accuse Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence. Toobin provided analysis of Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial, the O. J. Simpson civil case, and prosecutor Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton. He received a 2000 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elián González custody saga.
Toobin is the author of seven books. His book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (2007) received awards from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
His next book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, was published in 2012. American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst came out in 2016. All were New York Times Best Sellers. In 2020, he authored True Crimes and Misdemeanors, the Investigation of Donald Trump, which is described as a condensation of evidence against the character and presidency of Donald Trump as if he were on trial.
Zoom masturbation incident
On October 19, 2020, Toobin was suspended from The New Yorker after he masturbated on camera during a Zoom video call between New Yorker and WNYC radio staffers. CNN said Toobin "has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted." Toobin contended the incident was unintentional and said in a statement: "I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers." The next month, he was fired from The New Yorker following an internal investigation by the parent organization, Condé Nast. New York Public Radio, which owns WNYC, indefinitely banned Toobin from its broadcasts and podcasts.
Toobin was widely ridiculed in the wake of the incident by, among others, Jimmy Fallon, Donald Trump Jr., and Saturday Night Live. Defenders included former New Yorker editor Tina Brown, who said that "27 years of superb reporting and commitment to The New Yorker should have been weighed against an incident that horribly embarrassed the magazine but mostly embarrassed himself." Author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell said he "read the Condé Nast news release, and I was puzzled because I couldn't find any intellectual justification for what they were doing."
On June 10, 2021, Toobin returned to CNN as their chief legal analyst. He described his conduct as "deeply moronic and indefensible" and said he "didn't think other people could see [him]", but admitted that this was no defense for his behavior. He said the time he spent off-air "trying to be a better person", working on his upcoming book about the Oklahoma City bombing, doing therapy, and working at a food bank.
In 1986, Toobin married Amy Bennett McIntosh, whom he met in college while they worked at The Harvard Crimson. She is a 1980 Harvard graduate, holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, and has held executive positions at Verizon Communications and Zagat Survey. They have two adult children, a daughter and son.
Toobin had a longtime off-and-on extramarital affair with attorney Casey Greenfield. At one point, Greenfield became pregnant with Toobin's child. Toobin offered her money to have an abortion. When she refused to do so, he threatened that she would regret it if she did not comply. Greenfield is the daughter of American television journalist and author Jeff Greenfield and the ex-wife of screenwriter Matt Manfredi. They had a child in 2009, which Toobin initially resisted acknowledging. Ultimately, Toobin's paternity was confirmed with a DNA test and a Manhattan family court judge ordered Toobin to pay child support.
In popular culture
- Toobin, Jeffrey (1991). Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case: United States v. Oliver North by Jeffrey Toobin (1991-02-01). New York: Viking.
- — (1996). The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. ISBN 978-0-679-44170-0. (The basis for the FX miniseries, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story)
- — (1999). A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-50295-8.
- — (2001). Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-50708-3.
- — (2007). The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. New York: Doubleday.
- — (2012). The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court. New York: Doubleday.
- — (2016). American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. New York: Doubleday.
- — (2020). True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-385-53674-5.
Essays and reporting
- — (February 1998). "The Trouble With Sex: Why the law of sexual harassment has never worked". The New Yorker. No. February 9, 1998. pp. 48–55.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (2009). "Google's gatekeepers". In Lithwick, Dahlia (ed.). The best American legal writing 2009. New York: Kaplan.
- — (January 12, 2009). "Barney's great adventure". Profiles. The New Yorker. Vol. 84 no. 44. pp. 36–47.
- — (March 26, 2012). "Holding court". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 88 no. 6. pp. 41–42.
- — (May 21, 2012). "Money unlimited". The Talk of the Town. Annals of Law. The New Yorker. Vol. ? no. ?. pp. ?.
- — (November 19, 2012). "Right to vote". The Talk of the Town. Annals of Law. The New Yorker. Vol. 88 no. 36. pp. 29–30.
- — (January 14, 2013). "Casting votes". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 88 no. 43. pp. 17–18.
- — (January 14, 2013). "Mystery meal". The Talk of the Town. Ink. The New Yorker. Vol. 88 no. 43. p. 23.
- — (January 28, 2013). "The people's choice". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 88 no. 45. pp. 19–20.
- — (March 11, 2013). "Heavyweight : how Ruth Bader Ginsburg has moved the Supreme Court". Profiles. The New Yorker. Vol. 89 no. 4. pp. 38–47.
- — (April 1, 2013). "Wedding bells". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 89 no. 7. pp. 21–22.
- — (July 8–15, 2013). "Adieu, DOMA!". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 89 no. 20. pp. 27–28.
- — (August 5, 2013). "Daughters of Texas : the fight for abortion rights". Letter from Austin. The New Yorker. Vol. 89 no. 23. pp. 24–29.
- — (December 23–30, 2013). "Cruel and Unusual". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 89 no. 42. pp. 37–38. Methods of execution.
- — (April 14, 2014). "This is my jail : where gang members and their female guards set the rules". Letter from Baltimore. The New Yorker. Vol. 90 no. 8. pp. 26–32.
- — (February 16, 2015). "The Albany chronicles : how Andrew Cuomo gets his way". Profiles. The New Yorker. Vol. 91 no. 1. pp. 48–59.
- — (July 27, 2015). "American limbo : while politicians block reforms, what is happening to immigrant families?". A Reporter at Large. The New Yorker. Vol. 91 no. 21. pp. 30–35.
- — (February 29, 2016). "Looking back". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 92 no. 3. pp. 17–18. Justice Antonin Scalia.
- — (December 19–26, 2016). "When truth is not enough : sex tapes, the demise of Gawker, and what the Trump era means for the First Amendment". Annals of Law. The New Yorker. Vol. 92 no. 42. pp. 96–105.
- — (July 3, 2017). "Feeding the beast : David Pecker's reign at the National Enquirer and the rise of Trump". The Publishing World. The New Yorker. Vol. 93 no. 19. pp. 38–47.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (December 11, 2017) "Michael Flynn's Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump's Lawyers Scrambling" New Yorker.
- — (April 2, 2018). "Russia redux". The Talk of the Town. Time Capsule. The New Yorker. Vol. 94 no. 7. pp. 28–29.
- — (September 17, 2018). "The week that was". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 94 no. 28. pp. 13–14.
- — (March 4, 2019). "May days". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 95 no. 2. pp. 15–16.
- — (May 27, 2019). "The threat to Roe". The Talk of the Town. Comment. The New Yorker. Vol. 95 no. 14. pp. 19–20.
- "J.R. Toobin Weds Amy B. McIntosh". The New York Times. June 1, 1986. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
- "Contributors: Jeffrey Toobin". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- Rosman, Katherine; Bernstein, Jacob (December 15, 2020). "The Undoing of Jeffrey Toobin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Jeffrey Toobin suspended by The New Yorker and is temporarily stepping away from CNN following report he exposed himself on Zoom". CBS News. Associated Press. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- Bauder, David (June 20, 2021). "Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN after Zoom call incident". Associated Press.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin returned to the network Thursday for the first time in more than seven months after he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with former colleagues at The New Yorker.
- Wulfsohn, Joseph A. (May 3, 2021). "CNN silent as Jeffrey Toobin has had 'time off' for six months following Zoom masturbation scandal". Fox News.
- Wagner, Laura (October 19, 2020). "New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Masturbating on Zoom Call". Vice.
- Sher, Cindy (May 2, 2017). "Interview with CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, one of three best-selling authors to headline JUF Trade Dinner season". Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.
Toobin, who is Jewish, is a CNN Senior Analyst, a judicial expert, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a bestselling author.
- Clehane, Diane (October 10, 2007). "So What Do You Do, Jeffrey Toobin, Author?". Mediabistro. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
- Mindell, Cindy (August 20, 2010). "Q & A with... Marlene Sanders". Jewish Ledger. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
- Jacobs, Samuel P. (June 4, 2007). "Jeffrey R. Toobin". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "Author and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin '86 named this year's Class Day speaker". Harvard Law Today. May 23, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Eastland, Terry (May 1991). "Above the Constitution?". Commentary. Vol. 91 no. 5. pp. 60–62. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (2017). Opening Arguments. New York. ISBN 978-0-525-43445-0. OCLC 1011683236.
- Penguin Books USA, Inc.; Jeffrey R. Toobin v. Lawrence E. Walsh; Office of Independent Counsel, 929 F.2d 69 (United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. March 1991).
- "Anchors & Reporters – Jeffrey Toobin". CNN. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- "Toobin: Jackson courtroom 'like nothing I've ever seen'". CNN. January 16, 2004. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Elving, Ron (July 31, 2020). "In 'True Crimes,' Toobin Presents A Summation For The Jury In The Case Against Trump". NPR. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- Metz, Nina (September 7, 2021). "'Impeachment: American Crime Story' review: The show depicts the saga between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky but it feels like a dodge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- Diaz, Johnny; Paybarah, Azi (October 19, 2020). "New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin After Zoom Incident". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
- Robertson, Katie (November 11, 2020). "Jeffrey Toobin Is Fired by The New Yorker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
- Saturday Night Live. "Madame Vivelda." YouTube, October 24, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7hoynDj4WI.
- Stelter, Brian (June 10, 2021). "Jeffrey Toobin is back at CNN eight months after exposing himself on Zoom". CNN Business. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Rush, George (February 17, 2010). "CNN legal eagle Jeffrey Toobin in baby mama drama – with daughter of CBS News' Jeff Greenfield". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Baby drama! CNN star Jeffrey Toobin offered Casey Greenfield money for abortion: sources". New York Daily News. May 8, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- "Casey Greenfield, Matt Manfredi". The New York Times. November 21, 2004. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- Finn, Robin (February 17, 2012). "Casey Greenfield v. the World". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- Wigler, Josh (February 15, 2018). "How 'Altered Carbon' Brought its Breakout Character to Life". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize – see "J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project winners". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
- Profiles US Representative Barney Frank.
- Legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act.
- Citizens United v. FEC.
- Bush v. Gore.
- Discusses Baltimore City Detention Center.
- Online version is titled "Gawker's demise and the Trump-era threat to the First Amendment".
- Online version is titled "The National Enquirer's fervor for Trump".
- Online version is titled "Sex, spies, and clunky computers on 'The Americans'".
- Online version is titled "The deceptive contrast between Trump and Kavanaugh".
- Online version is titled "Andrew McCabe's countdown to the Mueller Report".
- Online version is titled "The abortion fight and the pretense of precedent".
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