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September 22nd, 2009
04:36 PM ET

Sources: Edwards asked aide to claim paternity

Joe Johns | BIO
CNN Correspondent

Former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards talked a campaign aide into claiming he fathered a child born to Edwards' onetime mistress, sources familiar with the issue said Monday.

Edwards admitted to his affair with Rielle Hunter in August 2008 after months of denials, but said he could not have been the father of Hunter's daughter, who was born the previous February. Former Edwards staffer Andrew Young has said he was the girl's father - but has recanted and says he made it because he believed in Edwards, lawyers and others familiar with the matter told CNN.

Young was married with children when he claimed to have fathered Hunter's child. He never signed any affidavits or legal papers, however, and reversed his claim after Edwards, as one of the sources put it, dropped Young "like a hot potato."

The news comes as a grand jury in Edwards' home state of North Carolina is investigating payments made to Hunter - who had been hired as a campaign videographer - by the former senator's campaign and supporters. Hunter was photographed entering the courthouse where the grand jury was meeting in August.

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Sharon Bogney

    well, my concern about the whole thing is not really the affair; but the fact that he kept denying it and also denying the child.. I don't think that any of that actually is healthy for the child....

    September 23, 2009 at 5:59 am |
  2. Nicholas, Hawaii

    Anderson, you should have Rielle and Edwards on at the same time, both giving their version of this. More likely, this is the time Edwards got caught – not necessarily the first transgression of his marriage vows. Get 'em both on there and make 'em fess up, Anderson.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  3. michael armstrong sr.

    It seem like with with all the dirt that the oposition trys to dig up on all of these politicions that they would have enough common since to keep there nose clean John Edwards evedently has no common since.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  4. Rebecca Rak Streetsboro, OH

    To Vickie who said:
    "Lets do a polygraph on each man in office, everywhere!"

    We'd have no one left in office, sadly.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  5. Tracie, Atlanta Georgia

    Yes, Edwards is wrong, but he should be forgiven...He has admitted to the affair and apologized...Why is it that some politicians/t.v anchors deserve to be forgiven, and others are not?...What Edwards did is no worse than Sanford, O'reilly, Gingrich, Clinton, Spitzer, should i go on, if i did the list would be too long;-)

    September 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  6. raq

    I believe John Edwards was a decent man caught up in the pressures of a presidential campaign that was zeroed in by a gold digging name seeking calculating woman. He fell. So what....he that is without sin let him cast the first stone....
    He will pay the 'price' of his bad judgement, but so should she. She is NOT a victim but the deliberate perpetrator.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  7. Vickie Show Me State

    Lets do a polygraph on each man in office, everywhere!

    September 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  8. Martina Ilstad Germany

    I feel so sorry for Mrs E.Edwards. How can this "husband" do this to his wife?
    Shame on him,put him i a box,lost the key and forgert this man,he is a lier,Mrs Edwards put him out of your house,and American people how can you ever trust a man like that,in a polityl way?

    September 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  9. Donna Wood Lil' Tennessee

    Whoa! If he could ask his aide, who already had a family of his own, to do something so dispicable for him, just think what he could have done to our country! Then the going phrase probably would have been:" Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do TO your country."

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    September 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  10. alexlyrics

    I don't know about you, but he kinda looked sneaky to me. He was way too squeaky clean. But one things for sure, he is no bill Clinton.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Kelly

    Wow. Why is honesty cool anymore?

    September 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Ed Mitchell

    Mr Edwards please man up and take the responsibilites and embrace then. Look around you, everyone that has taken there responsibilities are still there. Hey, just look at old Bill. Prime example.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  13. Valarie

    I am not only appalled at John Edwards having the audacity to get someone else to shoulder his responsibilities, but I am equally appalled that Andrew Young would do this to his family. What kind of human beings are they?

    September 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  14. Emily

    I wish Elizabeth E. all the best.
    I can't believe that this guy had that much Arrogance & Selfishness!!! And he was running to be President of the US?!
    OMG!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  15. Cindy

    Any man that can't claim the responsibility of fathering a child is an idiot. It seems that monicre fits Edwards to a tee! He knew the consequences when he was sleeping with Hunter yet did it anyway. It's ridiculous that he tried to hide it and talked Young into saying the baby was his and not Edwards. I'm glad he got busted out! Serves him right. I wish he'd step up to the plate, be a man and take care of his daughter...financially and emotionally.

    Cindy..Ga.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |