Tabloid Reports That Edwards Has Proposed to Mistress
John Edwards has asked his mistress, Rielle Hunter, to marry him - just weeks after burying his wife, who lost a long battle with breast cancer, The National Enquirer reported Thursday.
Over the holidays, the former presidential candidate and U.S. senator, who grew up in Robbins, introduced his three children - Cate, 28, Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10 - to the former campaign videographer. A source told the tabloid that Hunter, 46, told Edwards' children to call her "Mommy."
A number of national media outlets, including ABC, CBS, The Huffington Post and The New York Daily News, carried the story, attributing it to The Enquirer.
John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer Dec. 7. On Thursday, it was revealed that she left all of her possessions to her three children, while leaving her estranged husband out of the will entirely.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday that probate forms filed in Orange County Superior Court last month with the last will and testament of Elizabeth Edwards estimate the total value of the estate left to her children at $1,496,000.
Edwards, a best-selling author, was living in a 28,000-square-foot Chapel Hill home with an assessed 2010 tax value of $6.75 million, according to The News & Observer.
Property records also show that two months before Edwards died, she purchased a smaller home in Chapel Hill, where she was to move this spring. Tax stamps on that deed, which lists her as the sole owner, indicate the sale price was $1.2 million.
Edwards admitted last year that he had fathered a daughter with Hunter, with whom he began having an extramarital affair during his run for president in 2008. The Edwardses separated early last year after a 33-year marriage.
It had been reported that the two had become closer during her final days. He was by her side along with other family and friends when she died at their home outside Chapel Hill. But John Edwards did not speak at his wife's funeral.
While The National Enquirer first broke the story of the affair between the ex-presidential candidate and Hunter, the tabloid got it wrong about an engagement once before. The publication reported last February that Edwards proposed and that the couple was purchasing an $3.5 million beachfront home. The story was later discredited.
All of this comes as a federal grand jury investigating the two-time presidential candidate's finances. continues hearing testimony in Raleigh.
On Thursday, Chapel Hill businessman Michael Cucchiara and an attorney were seen entering and leaving the courthouse. He is among several friends, aides and supporters of Edwards who have come to the federal building in recent months.
In addition to donating to Edwards' political campaigns, Cucchiara and his wife gave a $2 million gift in 2006 to a poverty center that Edwards had developed at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The widow of Edwards' former campaign finance chairman, Dallas attorney Fred Baron, appeared at the federal courthouse last Wednesday.
Baron said before his 2008 death that he had provided money to Hunter to move her away from the campaign spotlight while she was pregnant.
Andrew Young, a former campaign aide, said Baron also gave him money to finish his home near Chapel Hill so he could move his family to California with Hunter. Young claimed during the campaign that he had fathered Hunter's child.
Edwards has said previously that he is confident no campaign money was improperly spent.
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