Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate
In an ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE Interview, Edwards Reveals He Cheated, But Didn't Father Child
In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he loved only his wife, Elizabeth.
"Two years ago I made a very serious mistake," Edwards said, blaming the prominence of being a vice presidential candidate. "All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want," he said.
Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test. He said he would be happy to take one.
Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby's birth on February 27, 2008.
A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said that he, not Edwards, was the father of the child.
According to friends of Hunter, Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006. His political action committee later paid her $114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience.
Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa.
Edwards said he told his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family about the affair in 2006.
"She was mad, she was angry, I think furious would be a good way to describe it," Edwards said.
Edwards made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife's cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards has since been diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.
When the National Enquirer first reported the alleged Edwards-Hunter affair last October 11, Edwards, his campaign staff and Hunter vociferously denounced the report.
"The story is false, it's completely untrue, it's ridiculous," Edwards told reporters then.
He repeated his denials just two weeks ago.
Edwards today admitted the National Enquirer was correct when it reported he had visited Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton last month.
"I wanted to keep this mistake I had made two years previously private," Edwards said.
The former Senator said his wife had not known about the meeting.
Edwards denied paying any money to Hunter to keep her from going public but said it was possible some of his friends or supporters may have made payments without telling him.
He also added that he would ask questions about any possible arrangement.
Late today, Edwards' former national finance chairman said he had provided assistance to Hunter and others without the knowledge of Edwards.
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