National/World

John Edwards admits affair

Friday, August 08, 2008
John Edwards told Nightline that he did have an extramarital affair  (AP)

John Edwards told Nightline that he did have an extramarital affair (AP)

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News Friday.

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EDWARDS DENIAL IN HOUSTON: Last month, John Edwards was in Houston and during a press conference, was asked about the alleged affair. Watch video of the former presidential candidate's response.

EDWARDS FULL STATEMENT: On Friday, Edwards released a statement about the affair. Read the full statement here

THE RIGHT TO KNOW, THE RIGHT TO TELL: ABC13's Tom Abrahams blogs about when we have the right to reveal a politician's personal exploits. Read more.
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In an interview broadcast on Nightline, 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 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.

Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby's birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.

A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said he 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.

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.

The former Senator said his wife had not known about the meeting.

Since becoming pregnant, Hunter has lived under assumed names in a series of expensive homes in North Carolina and, more recently, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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 said he would ask questions about any possible arrangement.

To read more about this story, click here to visit abcnews.com.

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