Embattled U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner  was heckled as he resigned his seat in Congress Thursday after a scandal spawned by the lewd photos of himself that the New York lawmaker sent online to numerous women.

"Bye, bye pervert," shouted one man in the crowd at a senior citizens centre in Brooklyn where Weiner made his announcement.

Weiner appeared unfazed by the interruption as he continued.

"I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I made this apology to my neighbours and my constituents. But I make it particularly to my wife Huma," he said.

"I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible, so today I am announcing my resignation from Congress."

His wife, Huma Abedin, who is an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was not with him for the announcement.

Weiner, 46, has been on leave from the House and at a treatment facility at an undisclosed location since last weekend. The married seven-term New York Democrat's had a once-promising career as a leading liberal voice.

Weiner became embroiled in a scandal over lewd photos and messages sent online to at least six women. During a tearful news conference recently he admitted he had told a series of lies to cover up his bad behaviour.

Top Democrats had called for a House ethics probe to see if Weiner had broken any rules, including whether he may have abused his congressional office.

The latest revelation came from a former porn actress who exchanged emails and messages over Twitter with Weiner. She said Wednesday he asked her to lie about their interactions, while a growing chorus of legislators pressed for his resignation as the scandal enveloping the congressman enters its third week.

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U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner resigns amid a sex scandal. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

Weiner has told friends he wanted to speak with his pregnant wife before deciding whether to resign. She returned to Washington early Wednesday from a trip to Africa with Clinton.

Nightclub dancer Ginger Lee is the latest in a series of women who said they received sexually charged messages from the seven-term congressman. The scandal began when Weiner posted a picture of his underwear-clad crotch on Twitter, then lied about it and said his account was hacked.

Lee, from La Vergne, Tenn., said she and Weiner exchanged about 100 emails between March and June, after Lee posted a supportive statement about the congressman on her blog. He then contacted her on Twitter, Lee said. They mostly discussed politics, but he would often turn the conversation to sex, she said.  

"'I have wardrobe demands too. I need to highlight my package,"' Weiner wrote Lee, in an email read aloud at the news conference by Lee's attorney, Gloria Allred.  

With files from The Associated Press