August 8th, 2008
04:40 PM ET

Edwards admits to extramarital affair

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/08/08/edwards.affair/art.edwards.no.gi.jpg]CNN Political Unit

Editor’s note: We’ll have complete live coverage of the developing Edwards story tonight at 10p ET

Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards admitted to an extramarital affair in an interview with ABC News, the network reported Friday. He denied being the father of the woman's child, as had been alleged in tabloid reports.

Asked by a reporter late last month whether he had provided any financial support to Rielle Hunter, or to Andrew Young — the former Edwards aide who claimed paternity of the child — Edwards replied that "I have no idea what you are asking about, I have responded to consistently to these tabloid allegations by saying I don't respond to these lies." He also said again that he had not lied during his presidential campaign when he denied an affair with Hunter.

Election Center: The John Edwards File

Speaking to the network for a story to be aired Friday night, Edwards acknowledged the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter, which began after she was hired to make documentary videos for his campaign, ABC said.

He said he has not taken a paternity test, but that the timing of the affair rules out the possibility that he could be her baby girl's father.


Filed under: John Edwards • Raw Politics
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Carol, PA

    I'm a little bit disappointed, but I feel if his wife forgives him, maybe we should let this rest. For all those feeling so sorry for her, why not give her a little peace and stop with the theatrics? It would have been a bad situation if he were to have won the primary but that didn't happen.
    Maybe we should try to stay out of the private lives of our politicians or at the very least, not blow it out of proportion. Like he lied....OMG. He may have lied about this, (an affair) but it doesn't mean he lies about everything or that he is unfit to serve in public office. I think we need to get over ourselves!

    August 10, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  2. Tami Hayes

    From a person fighting breast cancer, I'm sure that Elizabeth has bigger things on her mind (believe it or not) than who her husband slept with. She is fighting for her life and should only be focusing on her health; not a stupid husband. It is unfortunate that we, the public will not give her the room or privacy to do this.

    If we need a good cheating story then let's share McCain's story as he is running for president and complaining about getting equal airtime!

    August 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  3. Judy

    All the media is abuzz with the question: Is Edwards' s political career over? None of the commentaries or news shows tell the listener that we have a candidate running for President right now who committed adultry–McCain. He cheated on his first wife with the ever mechanical Cindy. So if mcCain can do it and end up as a Presidential candidate, why can't Edwards remain in politics too?

    August 10, 2008 at 10:04 am |
  4. dick palmer

    Read a great column on Huffington post this evening. The article's main thrust (ooooh, a sly innuendo) was that Elizabeth Edwards was just as much an enabler for John's behavior. . .in effect, the pain she's feeling now from this affair coming to light is partly because she knew BEFORE Edwards announced for the candidacy he was having this affair. . .they apparently dealt with it, and somehow, amazingly felt that it would not come to light if he did run for office.

    August 10, 2008 at 2:56 am |
  5. lampe

    All you Obama supporters better beware. I hear The National Enquirer, has a lovely little story about Obama, having a LOVE CHILD. Wouldn't it be real funny if they managed to get Two stories right in One Election Year.

    August 9, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  6. Thomas R.

    Follow the money.
    Who is paying?
    Where does the money originate?
    How is it being distributed?

    August 9, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  7. Franco = Vienna, Austria

    Wait ONE minute – it has always been said IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO.
    Now tell me – WHO was the Hunter – no pun intended – that gal named Riella Hunter saw a good thing when she met it – yeah in a Bar – get off it. Yes, John Edwards has made a huge mistake, hurt his family perhaps beyond repair and lied to the American people and his fans and campaign workers BUT why don't I hear any harsh words about "her" – yes, that Hunter. Why no name of the Father yet revealed. Senator Edwards, have that Paternity test done and fast – if it is positive then take the consequences but don't let a 42 year old "gal" take you to the cleaners. NEWS MEDIA "WHY" are we not hearing about her past – come on be fair and let's have the full story. At least he did not misuse the OVAL OFFICE – do you remember?

    August 9, 2008 at 10:06 am |
  8. Maurice Alarie

    It should be no surprise by now that wealth and power tends to dull the moral and ethical sensibilities of many who seek to be, and have been, our leaders. There are no religious boundaries, There are no poltical boundaries. The fact that an individual of wealth, power and celebrity has had a sexual affair is probably not much of a surprise to most of us. What I believe is most damaging is the long public trail of denial and lies. I think he would have found forgiveness, if not understanding, in the general public had he admitted, yes – my wife and I are having marital problems but we are working them out and ask for our privacy on this matter. The fact that Edward's turned his back on his wife to pursue his political ambitions and sexual pleasure at a time when she needed his support in her battle with cancer is particularly low.

    August 9, 2008 at 8:37 am |
  9. PennyRose

    I would like to comment on this latest story that is prevalent on the news today regarding John Edwards. First, I would say that he who is without sin cast the first stone. I am sick and tired of us vetting peoples personal lifes out before the media and I personally do not consider it a story of any significance when we look at what is really going on in the world today. I would just ask that we examine ourselves and see how many of us could stand the scrunity that many of those in politics have gone through. I consider myself a person that loves this country and wants the best for us; but, I would never run for public office because I have skeletons in my closet that are not public knowledge and I don't want them to be. I think that John Edwards is a great man and that any position that he would be considered for he would be an assest. I applaud Elizabeth Edwards for standing with her husband and I pray that she will not let those of you in the media decide the fate of their lives. I also hope that you guys will scruntinze yourself in the reporting of this story. Focus on what the issues are not the mistakes that people make in their personal lives.

    August 9, 2008 at 7:58 am |
  10. Jat

    Edwards gonna be the headlines for the next 6 or so months, Hell get over it we've heard enough about this affair if it was 'ol 6 pack there would be nothng. enough is enough get with the daily news.

    August 9, 2008 at 7:36 am |
  11. Dr.Namwanja Paul -Uganda.www.acmco.net

    IN GOD AMERICANS TRUST.I think because Americans trust in GOD, that is why, this time, GOD did not wait for them to have John Edwards as their president and so dropped him as early as possible, to avoid another repeat of a democratic sex scandal, similar to one of the previous democratic administration.In Africa, having an extra marital affair is too weak a point to affect your political carrier.Besides I have one question to ask all who look for sex scandals, especially journalists, that, is it only male politicians and other male public figures who fall on your sex traps or that women too get on them but you let them off-hook for reasons known to yourself ?

    August 9, 2008 at 6:52 am |
  12. Mehrnaz, Los Angeles

    May I ask why that is that no one says a word about Elizabeth Edwards'd dishonesty to the public! Do you get my point? If you are smart, you do....

    While forgiving your husband, Mrs. Edwards, for having an extramarital affair is a personal matter and it's no one's bussiness to tell you what you should do, approving and supporting your husband to run for president, when in fact you were aware that your husband was covering up his ugly past and repeatedly lying to the media about it WAS NOT a personal matter for you to forgive. In other words, you had a responsibility and you owed it to the American public. You could have said something like this: "Okay John, I love you and I forgive you for your mistake, but I can't support you to run for president, when I know at some point (when the question comes up) you have to EITHER lie to the public , betray their trust and make a fool out of yourself, OR humiliate me publicly by being honest with them, and I CAN NOT do that to myself, to my kids and to the public who are going to invest so much in us." which translates to: "Hey my disgusting husband, since you did this to me when I was battling with cancer and I now know about it, then you have no business running for president expecting me to be at you side. Because I can not be dishonest (like you) with people and I don't want to be placed in a position that I have to pretend everything is fine and danddy and back you up in your lies".

    When, for God sake, will women stopped acting like being a victim is an honor or a sign of strength? In my mind she is as guilty as her husband in lying to the public by agreeing to continue supporting him to run his campaign and by being "the perfect" wife who supported (actually enabled) her cheating husband to continue repeating his lies to the public, when she knew all about it. Let's be honest, she's a smart and educated woman, she chose to support her husband to run for the highest office when she knew he was not being honest. All she needed to do was to make him to drop out of the race as soon as she was told about the affair and no one would have probbed their private life to create this mess. I CAN NOT believe she made that statement today, still accusing the media for "lying" about her husband being the father of that baby. What difference does it make? I'm so sorry lady, but please, shut the hell up, get yourself out of denial and get some serious help.

    I'm equally mad at her, sorry folks...

    August 9, 2008 at 4:56 am |
  13. Angel

    August 9th, 2008 2:57 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    If the Enquirer had not caught him in his LIE, he would have contuined to Lie, he just decided to admit to it BEFORE THE Enquire got their story out.

    John McCain has NEVER Lied about him and Cindy, as Did not Regan. Edwards LIED!

    August 9, 2008 at 2:59 am |
  14. Sarah

    What really disgusts me is not Edward's affairs but the willingness and tenacity of the media to follow such an incident as if it in public's best interest.
    Anyone who had his wife's and family's best interests at heart would not air such a story as it will undoubtedly cause more heartache in an already turbulent time for them.
    This is a private matter for Edward's and his family to hash out on their own without dealing with the stress of the public eye on them.
    I do not believe this effects his competency as a politician. I in no way condone this behavior and while I hope his family is able to move past this, I know these actions have not effected me or had any negative impact on the public as a whole. Politicians have made much more harmful decisions and have not received such scrutiny.
    I just wish the media would for once, as a whole, work in the public good and not copycat tabloids which at least do not pretend to benefit us.
    Anderson Cooper has so much more potential than to be the person to report on this story and I wish he could see and live by that.

    August 9, 2008 at 2:56 am |
  15. caroline

    why do men have to be so cruel? its not just Edwards, its all those posers out there who pretend to be a loving faithful christian man while sleeping with anyone but their wifes.

    August 9, 2008 at 2:18 am |
  16. Joy Stone

    That John Edwards had an affair and tried to hide it, is regrettable, but only shows that he is human. His reaction is no different than how most men or women would behave in the same situation whether they are famous or not. No one likes to admit that they had poor judgment, hurt people they love, and then try to avoid responsibility for their actions.

    Let’s leave the Edwards family alone so they can heal.

    August 9, 2008 at 1:58 am |
  17. Buckeye 70

    Maybe all he did was the same as Clinton did so it really wasn't SEX!!!

    August 9, 2008 at 1:28 am |
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