Entries in Elizabeth Edwards (8)


John Edwards Rests His Case Without Mistress' Testimony

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- John Edwards' lawyers abruptly ended his defense Wednesday without hearing from the former presidential candidate or the mistress with whom he carried on an affair.

Lawyers for Edwards ended their case with a series of bank statements, phone records and Federal Election Commission memos and a final shot against the credibility of Edwards' primary accuser, Andrew Young.

Edwards' attorney Abbe Lowell reminded the jury that Young and his wife Cheri considered selling a sex tape they found that had been made by Edwards and his mistress Rielle Hunter.

They "had in their possession a private video of Rielle Hunter and John Edwards. They considered selling the private video," Lowell read into the court record.

Lowell had to be asked by the court to also read the part of the statement that said the Youngs "did not sell" the tape.

Introducing the Youngs' talk of selling the sex tape was apparently meant to leave the jury with the impression that Young, who is key to the prosecution's case, was not a credible person.

The courtroom had been braced for blockbuster testimony from Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter, Edwards's daughter Cate, or Edwards himself.

All three were on a list of possible witnesses for Wednesday, but the defense rested without calling any of them.

The evidence presented by the defense contrasts starkly with the dramatic and often emotional testimony of presented by the prosecution detailing Edwards' attempt to keep his affair and the birth of their baby a secret, huge amounts of money spent to keep the secret hidden, his distraught wife's discovery of the continuing affair, and the unhappy last days of Elizabeth Edwards.

The prosecution called no rebuttal witnesses, setting the stage for lawyers to make their closing arguments beginning Thursday.

Edwards is on trial for allegedly using nearly $1 million in donations from wealthy backers Fred Baron and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon to keep his affair secret to protect his presidential ambitions and later his hopes of winning a spot as vice president or attorney general.

The nearly $1 million in donations used to hide Edwards' mistress and love child were not campaign contributions, the Federal Election Commission concluded, according to documents his defense team filed late Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Edwards Feared Wife's 'Volcanic' Reaction to Affair

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- When Elizabeth Edwards first learned of a National Enquirer expose revealing her husband's affair, her reaction was "volcanic" and she fretted that John Edwards' infidelities would "humiliate" her and end his campaign, a campaign pollster testified Monday.

Veteran Democratic pollster Harrison Hickman testified on the first day of Edwards' defense and described a candidate who feared his wife's temper, particularly over his affair with his mistress Rielle Hunter.

"I don't mean to say this in a disparaging way. It was volcanic....She could get upset about things, but she was really upset about this," Hickman told the court.

Edwards' lawyers claim the former senator used money received from wealthy donors to hide his affair from his wife, not to circumvent federal campaign finance laws.

"She kept saying I don't want to be humiliated. I don't want my kids to have to deal with this," Hickman remembered Elizabeth Edwards saying.

Hickman, who advised Edwards that his 2008 presidential hopes were doomed, said Edwards "did everything he could to placate Mrs. Edwards....He acquiesced to Elizabeth Edwards making decisions....She took the lead and he deferred to her."

Mrs. Edwards did not want her husband to drop out of the race for the presidency, Hickman testified, even when she got a diagnosis that her breast cancer had returned and it was terminal.

"She said she didn't want to sit home and die. She wanted her life to have a purpose....She wanted to keep it going and get him elected president," Hickman told the jury.

Elizabeth Edwards died in December 2010. She slowly learned about her husband's affair with Hunter in 2007 and became increasingly upset about each new revelation, witnesses said, once becoming so distraught she tore her blouse off on an airport tarmac and collapsed on the ground.

Edwards is charged with six counts of campaign finance violations, allegedly using nearly $1 million in donations to protect his bid for the 2008 presidential nomination and later his hopes to be named vice president or attorney general. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Edwards' Wife Tore Off Her Shirt and Collapsed Over His Affair, N.C.) -- John Edwards put his head in his hands and his daughter Cate left the courtroom in tears Wednesday as a former aide testified about how Edwards' wife became distraught when she found out that he was still having an affair with mistress Rielle Hunter.

Elizabeth Edwards "collapsed in a ball" in an airport parking lot and tore off her shirt in a fit of anger, the witness said.

Mrs. Edwards was dying of cancer and had previously discovered her husband's fling with Hunter, a videographer on his presidential campaign, in 2006. She had demanded Hunter be fired and the romance be ended.

Edwards, however, secretly continued the affair, which was reported in the National Enquirer in October 2007.

Christina Reynolds, a communications adviser on Edwards' campaign who was also close to Elizabeth Edwards, told the court about Mrs. Edwards' reaction when her suspicions of her husband's continued infidelity were confirmed.

Before Reynolds began, Edwards said to his daughter Cate, "I don't know what is going to happen next. Do you want to leave?"

Cate Edwards, who has been her father's most visible supporter, got up and left the courtroom wiping away tears as Edwards called after her, "Cate, Cate."

The day after the Enquirer's report was published, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards were en route to the Raleigh airport, but Elizabeth Edwards was pawing at her husband in the car and asking, "Is this what you two do in the car when you are together in New York City?" the court was told. Edwards stopped the car and got into another vehicle so that they arrived at the airport in separate cars. Edwards lowered his head in his hands as Reynolds spoke.

"Elizabeth was very upset... She was very vocal," Reynolds told the court. "She stormed off and collapsed into a ball in the parking lot."

Reynolds said aides helped Mrs. Edwards to her feet and into a restroom where they tried to calm her down.

"She seemed a little calmer and then stormed out of the bathroom and tried to engage Mr. Edwards. She said to him, 'You don't see me any more,'" and tore off her shirt and bra.

"How did John Edwards react to this?" the prosecutor asked.

"He didn't have much of a reaction," Reynolds said.

On cross examination, Edwards' lawyer Abbe Lowell got Reynolds to say that Mrs. Edwards was "mortified" and "humiliated."

"Her primary concern was the family....She didn't want it to become public so the kids wouldn't have to deal with it," she said.

Edwards is accused of illegally using campaign donations to keep his mistress hidden, but Lowell's questions apparently were intended to bolster the defense's argument that Edwards used the money to keep the secret from his wife, not his campaign.

If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison.

Earlier in the day, Edwards' lawyer made a final effort to discredit the main prosecution witnesses against him by having Cheri Young concede that $3,800 of the money meant to hide Edwards' mistress was spent on refashioning her wedding ring.

Cheri Young is the wife of Edwards' former aide Andrew Young. The couple helped hide Hunter for more than a year, handling more than $1 million from wealthy backers to keep Edwards' affair secret.

Edwards' defense alleges that the Youngs used the sex scandal to enrich themselves, including spending $200,000 of the hush money to add a pool, a theater and other expensive upgrades to their home.

Defense lawyer Alan Duncan tried to reenforce that point Wednesday by presenting two bills from a jewelry store that the Youngs included in their expenses for covering up the affair. The bills totalled $3,800.

Duncan asked what the bills were for, prompting Cheri Young to reply, "This is an item my husband purchased for me, a revision of my wedding ring."

Mrs. Young left the stand after four days of questioning. She and her husband were the trial's first two witnesses, and their questioning has last nearly eight days.

Edwards' defense in part is that the money was used to hide Hunter from his wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer, not to hide her from the campaign, and that the money was not campaign donations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Edwards Not in Elizabeth Edwards' Will

Photo Courtesy - AmericanProgress dot org(HILLSBOROUGH, N.C.) -- Elizabeth Edwards, estranged wife of John Edwards, did not include the former U.S. senator in her will, reports Raleigh's News & Observer.

Elizabeth Edwards, who died Dec. 7 after a six-year battle with breast cancer, named her eldest daughter, Cate Edwards, as executor of her estate in the document.

Edwards separated from her husband John Edwards after he fathered a child from a widely reported extramarital affair with campaign worker Rielle Hunter.

According to the News & Observer, the will states that Edwards' possessions would be left to her three children with John Edwards.

"All of my furniture, furnishings, household goods, jewelry, china, silverware and personal effects and any automobiles owned by me at the time of my death, I give and bequeath to my children," her last will and testament states.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Elizabeth Edwards Remembered at Funeral Service

Photo Courtesy - AmericanProgress [dot] org(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Funeral services were held Saturday in Raleigh for Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former senator and former presidential candidate John Edwards.

"When she could barely speak anymore," Edwards' daughter, Cate, said in a eulogy to her mother, "my dad and I sat at her bedside and held each of her hands and she just kept looking at us back and forth, saying, 'I'm okay. I'm okay.'"

The 61-year-old Edwards died this this week after a recurrence of breast cancer that had spread.  She was admired and respected for a quiet, calm demeanor in the face of many challenges including the death of her son Wade at 16, her husband's widely reported infidelity that led to the birth of an illegitimate child, and her courageous fight against cancer.

Cate Edwards, 28, shared part of a letter her mother wrote to her three living children before she died.

“For all I have said about life,” Elizabeth Edwards wrote, “I want to you to know that all I ever really needed was you … your love, your presence, to make my life complete.

Eulogies were also delivered by Edwards' longtime friends Hargrave McElroy and Glenn Bergenfield. John Edwards did not speak at the proceedings.

The service was attended by a number of political heavyweights, including Sen. John Kerry, with whom Edwards' husband shared the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004, and Vicki Kennedy, wife of late Sen. Ted Kennedy. North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and Sen. Kay Hagan were also expected to attend.

Elizabeth Edwards was an attorney but she and her lawyer husband both quit practicing law 14 years ago, upon the death of their teenage son in a car accident.  They turned their attention to politics and public service.

Services were held at the Edenton United Methodist Church, where Edwards turned for support after her son's death.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Soldier-Denouncing Westboro Baptist Church to Protest Elizabeth Edwards Funeral

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- The Kansas-based church that has made headlines for its controversial picketing of military funerals says it plans to picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.

The Westboro Baptist Church released a statement on its website accusing Edwards of "spewing blasphemy."

The statement claims, among other things, that Edwards refused to pray to God to cure her of cancer.

"This witch spent her life in defiance and disobedience to God, and blasphemed Him with her dying breath," the statement reads. "She received multiple warnings and opportunties to repent...Her pride and arrogance is breath-taking!"

Edwards, 61, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

She was receiving treatment in a hospital after she was admitted over Thanksgiving, but her family announced Monday that she would cease treatment after doctors said it would be "unproductive." Doctors said she was never in pain and never lost consciousness before her death.

With her death, John Edwards becomes the primary caretaker for the younger children. Family friends told ABC News he plans to move back into the 28,000-square-foot mansion the couple had built and once shared.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Elizabeth Edwards Dies After Long Battle with Cancer

Photo Courtesy - AmericanProgress [dot] org(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- After a six-year battle with breast cancer, Elizabeth Edwards succumbed to the disease Tuesday morning at age 61.

"Elizabeth Anania Edwards, mother, author, advocate, died today at her home in Chapel Hill, surrounded by her family," said a statement released Tuesday by her family. "Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family."

"We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life," the statement read.

Earlier this week it was announced that Edwards, who had been admitted and then released from the hospital over Thanksgiving, had stopped all cancer treatment.

Edwards, who was estranged from her husband, one-time presidential hopeful John Edwards, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. A close friend of the Edwards family told ABC News that John Edwards was among those who were at her side during her final days.

Edwards’ cancer returned in 2007, when her husband was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. The stage-four cancer was deemed incurable and within a year, Edwards was fighting another battle.

In January, the couple separated after 30 years of marriage when John admitted he had fathered a daughter with filmmaker Rielle Hunter.

Born Mary Elizabeth Anania, Elizabeth Edwards grew up in Virginia as the daughter of a Navy pilot. She initially planned to teach literature, but ultimately pursued a law degree at the University of North Carolina, where she met John.

The couple had four children. Their oldest, Wade, was killed in an automobile accident in 1996 at the age of 16.

In recent years, Elizabeth authored two best-selling books and became a champion of causes involving poverty and cancer.

But always, she said, her children were her top priority: 28-year-old Cate, 12-year-old Emma Claire and 10-year-old Jack.

In her 2009 book, Resilience, Edwards wrote that she hoped to live long enough to see her three children graduate from school and, hopefully, have a grandchild. "Eight years," she wrote. "That's all I ask for...I want to walk them to the door of the next part of their lives."

Edwards' death has prompted several prominent political heads and friends to offer praise of her life and condolences to the Edwards family.

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards," President Obama said in a written statement.  "Through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends," he added.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Elizabeth Edwards "made her mark on America, and she will not be forgotten."

A source close to the family has said that a funeral for Edwards will likely take place Friday or Saturday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


'Further Treatment' Would Be 'Unproductive,' Say Elizabeth Edwards' Doctors

Photo Courtesy - AmericanPress dot org(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- A written statement Monday made public the current status of Elizabeth Edwards' six-year battle with cancer.

"Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive.  She is resting at home with family and friends...." the statement read.

On her Facebook page, Edwards spoke out about sustaining through "difficult times," and thanked those who have continued to support her.

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces -- my family, my friends and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.  These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined.  The day of our lives, for all of us, are numbered.  We know that,"  Edwards stated on her Facebook profile. "It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day.  To you I simply say:  you know," she added.

In recent years, Elizabeth Edwards has endured her illness alongside media reports about her ex-husband John Edwards' affair with campaign worker Rielle Hunter, which ultimately produced a daughter, Quinn.

After her husband's public admission in August 2008 that he had fathered a child with Hunter, Elizabeth Edwards filed for legal separation from John Edwards. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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