Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fresh questions for John Edwards over affair with Rielle Hunter

August 11, 2008

Fresh questions for John Edwards over affair with Rielle Hunter

John Edwards faced fresh questions last night about his adulterous affair with a blonde film-maker, including how much he knew about thousands of dollars paid to her after she became pregnant last year.

Mr Edwards, the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate in 2004, was forced to admit on Friday, after months of lies and denials, that he cheated on his wife during his White House bid by conducting an affair with Rielle Hunter, a videographer. As he denied allegations that he was the father of Ms Hunter’s baby girl, his former campaign finance director admitted that he made payments to her last year to set her up in a house in California.

Mr Edwards said on Friday that he had not “requested, agreed to or supported” payments of any kind to Ms Hunter, who gave birth in February, but conceded later that friends or supporters might have sent her money without telling him. He was forced to admit the affair after allegations for ten months by The National Enquirer, the supermarket tabloid, that he had an affair with Ms Hunter and was the father of her child. Only after reporters from the publication confronted him in a Beverly Hills hotel on July 21, after he had spent five hours in a room with Ms Hunter, did he confess.

He initially denied the hotel encounter report, but admitted on Friday that it was accurate, and that he had not told his wife, who has incurable cancer, about the meeting before it occurred. He said that the affair began and ended in 2006, and that he could not be the baby’s father because Ms Hunter did not become pregnant until mid2007. A former campaign aide to Mr Edwards, Andrew Young, a married father of three, said at the end of 2007 that he was the father.

When the Enquirer first reported that Ms Hunter was pregnant late last year, she issued a statement saying: “This has no relationship to, nor does it involve, John Edwards in any way.

Andrew Young is the father of my child.” No father was listed on the child’s birth certificate. Mr Edwards said he would be “happy” to take a paternity test. However, the Enquirer will go to press tonight alleging that Mr Edwards orchestrated the payments to Ms Hunter; that he carried on their affair throughout 2007; and that he is the father of the child.

Barry Levine, the Enquirer’s executive editor, told The Times that the magazine would allege details of “regular” visits that Mr Edwards made to Ms Hunter during 2007 and into 2008.When theEnquirerreported that she was pregnant, and claimed that Mr Edwards was the father, she, Mr Young, his wife and his children moved to live under the same roof in a gated community in Santa Barbara, California.

Fred Baron, a wealthy retired Texas lawyer and Mr Edwards’s former finance chairman, said on Friday that he made payments to get Ms Hunter and Mr Young to California and out of the spotlight. He confirmed to The Times that Mr Young’s family were also moved to Santa Barbara. Mr Baron said that he acted without Mr Edwards’s knowledge.

Affairs of state

— Democratic front-runner Gary Hart withdrew from the presidential race in 1987 after a cruise with Donna Rice, 29, on a yacht called Monkey Business

— John F. Kennedy's conquests included actresses, air hostesses, a Mafia moll and Marilyn Monroe

— Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky

Source: Times database

I'll save my prayers for Elizabeth Edwards.

Barbara, TN, USA

i demand a full explanation. i have a right to know.

frenz, manchester,

probably the payments were actually to induce her into making the implausible claim that she found him attractive.

frenz, manchester,

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