State

Settlement in Edwards sex tape case

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A settlement was reached Thursday in the civil suit over who owns a purported sex tape of former presidential candidate John Edwards.

Edwards' former mistress Rielle Hunter sued Edwards' ex-aide Andrew Young in 2010 over ownership of several items, including an intimate video Hunter claimed she made in 2006 while working for Edwards.

A spokesperson for Hunter said the agreement returns "disputed property" to Hunter and the tape itself will be destroyed. A spokesperson declared the settlement a victory.

"Ms. Hunter is very pleased. She won," said RoseMarie Terenzio.

ABC11 obtained a copy of the settlement in which Andrew Young and his wife admit no liability. It also says the video will be destroyed.

The Young have released the following statement through their lawyer: "We are extremely pleased to have this case resolved. There were no 'winners' as such, in that each side had returned back to it that which it believed was its own property, although it was mutually agreed that certain materials should, per the court's order, be destroyed."

The statement continues: "It has been suggested that one purpose of this lawsuit was an effort to intimidate and harass Andrew and Cheri Young who are expected to be witnesses in the criminal prosecution of Ms. Hunter's paramour, John Edwards. If that was in fact the case, it has failed miserably."

The existence of the tape came to light after Young's book "The Politician," hit stands in February 2010. In the book, Young documented his years working for Edwards and talked about his role hiding the existence of Edwards' affair with Hunter from the media while he ran for president.

Hunter said in an affidavit filed two years ago that; "In or about September 2006, using my video camera, I authored a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature. In 2006, I was also having an intimate relationship with Edwards."

"The decision was made that the video be destroyed" in December 2006, Hunter wrote. She said she pulled out the tape from the cassette and stored it in a box with personal belongings.

Young has said some videotapes were inside a "box of trash" that Hunter left behind at a house in Chatham County where Young and his wife lived with Hunter. He said the tape had been pulled out, but that he was able to fix it.

After Hunter sued the Youngs for invasion of privacy and demanded the tape back, the couple was ordered to turn over all copies of the tape and other material to the court while it determined ownership.

The wide-ranging settlement filed Thursday covers other videos, pictures, and documents - including some of the Youngs and Hunter. It says both parties agreed those images will not be published or broadcast.

Click here to read the settlement (.pdf)

While the civil suit involving Hunter and the Young's is over, Edwards' legal problems aren't over. He was indicted last year on felony charges of violating federal campaign finance laws by using more than $1 million provided by donors to help hide his pregnant mistress during his presidential campaign.

That case has been delayed because he is suffering from a medical condition.

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andrew young, john edwards, rielle hunter, state
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