Jury Hears Ex-Mistress
John Edwards is back in the public spotlight, this time as a federal grand jury investigates whether his presidential campaign illegally funneled money to his former mistress.
Filmographer Rielle Hunter -- who had an affair with the former North Carolina senator and presidential candidate -- spent nine hours in a Raleigh courthouse Thursday testifying in front of the grand jury. A federal investigation on the use of Edwards' campaign money continues.
Edwards, who grew up in the northern Moore County town of Robbins, has denied any wrongdoing on the part of his campaign.
According to the Associated Press, Edwards' political action committee (PAC) paid Hunter $100,000 for film services in 2006 and an additional $14,086 on April 1, 2007, despite having only around $8,000 on hand. Edwards' presidential campaign paid the PAC $14,034 the same day for "furniture."
Hunter was photographed walking into the Raleigh courthouse Thursday with her 18-month-old daughter, Frances. It has been widely speculated that Edwards is the father of the child, though he has publicly denied the claims and no paternity test has been done.
A former Edwards aide, Andrew Young, stepped forward and said he was the baby's father shortly before it was born. But in June The New York Daily News reported that Young said in a tell-all book proposal that Edwards implored him to claim paternity of the child. In exchange, Edwards pledged to "take care" of Young "for life."
Young said in the book proposal that the child is in fact Edwards'.
Edwards and Hunter met in New York in 2006, when Edwards was on a business trip. Hunter was subsequently hired to film YouTube videos of Edwards on the campaign trail.
News of the affair broke in the summer of 2008, several months after Edwards dropped out of the running for the Democratic presidential nomination. After weeks of vehement denials of the romance, Edwards eventually came clean.
The admission derailed Edwards' political plans, as he was widely believed to be a candidate for a post in the Obama White House. Since last summer, Edwards has been off the public radar, save for a few public appearances and an interview with his wife, Elizabeth, on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Edwards, a former trial attorney, was elected to the U.S. Senate from North Carolina in 1998. His 2004 presidential bid, in which he finished second in the primaries to Sen. John Kerry, put him on the national political map. He was later named Kerry's running mate.
In 2008, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton overshadowed Edwards, who finished a distant third in the delegate count.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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