Local/State

Young: Elizabeth Edwards threatens to sue

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards is threatening to sue the man she believes helped destroy her marriage.

However, many wonder if she has a solid case against Andrew Young, her husband's former aide during the presidential election.

North Carolina is one of seven states where a person can file a lawsuit against someone they believe destroyed their marriage.

John and Elizabeth Edwards are now separated after 30 years of marriage.

Andrew Young revealed his latest potential legal battle outside the courthouse in Hillsborough Wednesday following a hearing over John Edwards and his mistress Rielle Hunter's sex tape.

"Elizabeth has threatened me with an alienation of affection lawsuit," Young said.

But it may not be much of a worry according to Raleigh divorce lawyer Lee Rosen.

"A claim against Andrew feels like a scorned woman, acting out on that emotion," he said. "Elizabeth would need to show that she and John had a good marriage, there was love and affection there - which might be difficult - then she would have to show this gentleman came along and maliciously damaged and destroyed that love and affection and contributed in some way to the end of the marriage."

In his book "The Politician" Andrew Young writes that he agreed to cover-up the affair between John Edwards and Rielle Hunter, because Edwards convinced him it would help Edwards get elected.

"You have to remember, John Edwards was one of the most persuasive trial lawyers ever and this is not like having a pitch by a normal person," Young said.

Young has told ABC11 Eyewitness News that Edwards fired people who worked on the campaign if they suggested Edwards should end the affair.

Hunter worked for Edwards 2008 presidential campaign as a videographer.

Rosen says he thinks Andrew Young may have actually been trying to preserve John and Elizabeth Edwards' marriage by hiding the affair. He also says he thinks Elizabeth Edwards is targeting the wrong person in threatening an alienation of affection lawsuit.

"Rielle is the bad guy here, she should not have done what she did, and John is the bad guy," Rosen said.

Rosen also says it can take years to deal with one of these lawsuits - time Elizabeth Edwards may not have, because of her battle with cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards has also reportedly said she will drop the threat of a lawsuit if Young donates $250,000 to the Wade Edwards Foundation - a nonprofit group named for the Edwards' late son who died in a car accident in 1996.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for John Edwards denies he's popped the question to Hunter.

"The National Enquirer" reports Edwards proposed to Hunter on the day he publicly admitted fathering a child with her. But Edwards' spokesperson called the Enquirer story absolutely untrue.

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