By her own admission, the reasons she chose to defend her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, before the world Tuesday are both public and private: love and politics.
"Quite simply, I love my husband, I love my city, and I believe in what he wants to do for the people of New York," she wrote in a Harper's Bazaar essay that will be published next month.
The saga for her has been two years in the making. And unbeknownst to many people until a Tuesday news conference, it continued for at least a year after Weiner resigned in disgrace from Congress for exposing himself to women on Twitter.
Now a leading candidate for mayor of New York City, Weiner, 48, is back in the public eye, and Abedin is campaigning by his side.
And her friends, according to sources close to Abedin, are as surprised as the rest of the public that she chose to publicly defend Weiner after gossip website The Dirty revealed another woman who claims that she had a longstanding sexual relationship with him online.
Of the people inside Abedin's circle of friends, one described being "shocked" and "telling her this is no longer a good idea." Another told ABC News that two years ago, "she was the victim. Now with this yesterday, she's a partner. What is she doing?"