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Monday
Jul252011

John Edwards Trial Heats Up with War of Words

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(HILLSBOROUGH, N.C.) -- John Edwards’ former mistress Rielle Hunter last week accused former aide Andrew Young of secretly passing thousands of pages of sealed civil court records -- including the depositions of Edwards and Hunter -- to the federal prosecutors involved in the criminal case against Edwards. And on Monday, Young's lawyers fired back, calling the accusations "scurrilous" and "defamatory," and asking the judge to sanction Hunter's attorneys for making "patently groundless claims."

Young's motion, filed Monday morning in state court in North Carolina, claims that Hunter's attorneys -- prior to filing their motion -- were explicitly told by federal prosecutors that any documentation that the U.S. government obtained from the civil suit was obtained "through lawful process and under the authority of the federal grand jury."

Young and his attorneys expressly deny in the court filing that they shared any sealed documents with any third party.

In February, the disgraced former senator gave a six-hour deposition in the civil suit, which Hunter filed in 2010 against Young. The suit alleges Young stole a sex tape featuring Hunter and Edwards and dozens of other personal photographs including pictures of Edwards with his then-infant daughter, Frances Quinn.

Young has said he kept the tape and photographs only to back up the claims he made in his book. None of the disputed images -- or the tape -- have ever been released.

Edwards was ordered to sit for a follow-up deposition, which had been scheduled for June, but that was put on hold by the judge until the criminal case is over.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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