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ABC News: Edwards admits sexual affair

August 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
John Edwards admits to having an extramarital affair while his wife was battling cancer. But the former presidential candidate says he is not the father of the woman's child.In an interview for broadcast Friday night on Nightline (Airing at 11:35 p.m. on ABC7), Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year-old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards admitted the affair in an interview with ABC News, which will air Friday night on Nightline on ABC7.

John Edwards admitted to ABC News what he has been denying to the world for nearly a year. The affair began in 2006 after his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The former presidential and vice-presidential candidate said he is not the father of Rielle Hunter's baby.

The day that John Edwards held a news conference in Los Angeles with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Edwards met with Hunter in Beverly Hills.

Edwards now admits that the National Enquirer was accurate when it reported that he met with Rielle Hunter at the Beverly Hilton hotel that evening. The Enquirer reported that the couple's love child was in another room.

The Enquirer first reported the affair and pregnancy last year but Edwards denied the story.

Until Friday's interview with ABC News, Edwards repeatedly denied any involvement.

"I don't talk about tabloid trash," said John Edwards in the past. "It's full of lies."

Edwards now admits the story of an affair was true.

Last year Hunter did an interview with television show "Extra." A spokeswoman says it was done before the first story broke about the affair and pregnancy.

"Meeting John Edwards was interesting," said Hunter in the interview. "He was real and authentic and inspirational to me. ... One of the great things about John Edwards is he's so open he's so willing to try new things and do things in new ways."

Earlier this year Edwards and his wife Elizabeth announced that her breast cancer was no longer in remission and was now terminal.

Edwards told ABC news that when he began his affair with Hunter in 2006 his wife's cancer was in remission. In his interview and in a statement he said he told his wife and ended the affair the same year.

In a statement, he denied being father of the baby and said: "I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the apparent father of the baby. ... I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic."

The reaction to Edwards's admission has been sharp. But one person who was put in the public spotlight because of her husband's action is careful.

"Look, my thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards family today and that's all I have to say," said Democratic New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Edwards's former campaign manager said he is "disappointed and angry." David Bonior goes on to say thousands of friends and supporters of Senator Edwards put their faith and confidence in him and he has let them down."

ABCNews Correspondents Rhonda Schwartz and Brian Ross contributed to this report.

 

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