John Edwards Sex Scandal: Admits Extramarital Affair

Edwards confesses to sex, but says lover's baby girl is not his child

NBC Bay Area

Former presidential hopeful John Edwards has admitted to having an affair with a woman previously identified in tabloid reports as the mother of his love child. In an exclusive interview today with ABC News, Edwards confessed that he slept with 42-year old Rielle Hunter while his wife was battling cancer. Edwards claimed he has never loved Hunter and insisted he did not father her baby girl, despite tabloid reports naming him as the dad. Edwards, who has not taken a paternity test, said he could not bet the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, based upon the timing of her birth. A former Edwards campaign staffer, Andrew Young, has said he is the father of the little girl. Frances was born in California on Feb. 27, 2008. Her father's name is not listed on her birth certificate. The National Enquirer first reported on the affair last October. Edwards had vociferously denied the charge and few mainstream media picked up the allegation. "The story is false," he told reporters recently. "It's completely untrue, ridiculous." He professed his love for his wife, Elizabeth, who had an incurable form of cancer, saying "I've been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years and as anybody who's been around us knows, she's an extraordinary human being, warm, loving, beautiful, sexy and as good a person as I have ever known. So the story's just false." Last month, the Enquirer published another story saying Edwards had a secret rendezvous with Hunter at a Beverly Hills hotel. The Enquirer also published a grainy spy-cam photo of a figure purported to be Edwards holding a small baby in the hotel room. Again, Edwards denied everything. He called the story "tabloid trash." But just hours ago, he admitted to being a liar and a cheater during an interview with ABC News. David Bonior, Edwards' campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said he was disappointed and angry after hearing about Edwards' confession. "Thousands of friends of the senators and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he's let him down," said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. "They've been betrayed by his action." Edwards was a top contender for the Democratic nomination for president, pursuing his party's nod even after announcing that his wife had cancer. He placed second in the Iowa caucuses last January but dropped out of the race a few weeks later. He has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for Barack Obama. The former North Carolina senator was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004. In 2006, Edwards' political action committee paid $100,000 in a four-month span to a newly formed firm run by Hunter, who directed the production of just four Web videos, one a mere 2½ minutes long. The payments from Edwards' One America Committee to Midline Groove Productions LLC started on July 5, 2006, five days after Hunter incorporated the firm in Delaware. Midline provided "Website/Internet services," according to reports that Edwards' PAC filed with the Federal Election Commission. Midline's work product consists of four YouTube videos showing Edwards in informal settings as he prepares to make speeches in Storm Lake, Iowa, and Pittsburgh, as he prepares for an appearance on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and travels in Uganda in 2006. Edwards' PAC followed the six-figure payment with two smaller payments totaling $14,461, the last on April 1, 2007. At the time Hunter was compiling the videos in 2006, Edwards was preparing a run for president.

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