Former US Senator John Edwards admits to extramarital affair

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Friday, August 8, 2008

Former United States Senator John Edwards admitted today to ABC News that he had an extramarital affair with novice filmmaker Rielle Hunter while his wife was in remission with cancer.

John Edwards and family in New Hampshire
Image: Peter Smith.

Edwards has denied being the father of Hunter's child, Frances Quinn, and a former aide to his presidential campaign, Andrew Young, has reportedly claimed paternity. Also, in an interview for tonight's edition of Nightline, the former Senator and presidential hopeful told ABC News' Bob Woodruff that while he has not taken a paternity test, he is not the father of Quinn. Edwards says that their relationship ended too soon based on the birth of the baby on February 27, 2008.

Edwards has said that the affair began during his recent presidential campaign after Hunter was hired for US$114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries. Hunter traveled across the country and world with Edwards, even on a trip to Africa.

If you want to beat me up — feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself.

—John Edwards

Edwards also said that he told his wife, Elizabeth, and others about the affair as early as 2006.

"It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up — feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help," Edwards said in a statement released to the press.

The National Enquirer reported of the alleged Edwards-Hunter affair in October 2007. However, at that time his campaign staff, Hunter and Edwards himself denounced the reports. "The story is false, it's completely untrue, it's ridiculous," Edwards said. As recently as two weeks ago, Edwards still denied any affair between himself and Hunter.

Edwards was the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 2004 and was a contender for this year's Democratic presidential nomination.