Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
The Good Wives
Elizabeth Edwards
Elizabeth Edwards
Former Democratic Presidential nominee John Edwards grew emotional in an August 2008 Nightline interview as he admitted to an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, an actress and former equestrian who had produced several short videos for his campaign. After much denial from both Edwards and Hunter, who gave birth in February 2008, the former North Carolina Senator explained to ABC's Bob Woodruff that the affair was a mistake in judgment and that his over-confident attitude allowed him to believe he'd never be caught. Edwards said his wife Elizabeth (pictured), who has terminal breast cancer, knew about the affair because he had told her. Elizabeth, an attorney, was furious, but chose to try to continue the marriage. He denied being the father of Hunter's child, saying that the affair had ended before the child was conceived. Initially Andrew Young, a campaign aide, claimed to have fathered the child, but later wrote in a book proposal that Edwards had asked him to falsely assume paternity. In that same document, Young wrote that Edwards had promised Hunter a rooftop wedding with a performance by the Dave Matthews Band once his wife was dead. In May 2009, Elizabeth Edwards published a book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities, in which she detailed the effects of the scandal surrounding her husband on her family, as well as the struggles she has endured in her battle with cancer and coping with the 1996 death of her son Wade.

In January 2010, Edwards admitted publicly that he had indeed fathered the child with Hunter. A week later he and Elizabeth announced their separation. Elizabeth Edwards' publisher, Random House, released a statement saying, "Elizabeth is moving on with her life and wants to put this difficult chapter behind her. It was an excruciatingly painful period for her and she [has] no interest in rehashing the past."
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