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Entries in John Edwards (74)

Tuesday
Jun262012

Rielle Hunter Says She Doesn't Believe in Infidelity

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Rielle Hunter and John Edwards have ended their controversial affair after she released a tell-all memoir that contained negative comments about his marraige Elizabeth Edwards, who is now deceased after losing her battle to cancer.

Hunter said today that one reason they split up was because she was "no longer interested in hiding."  The former mistress dropped her bombshell during an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.

"We are a family, but as of the end of last week John Edwards and I are no longer a couple. Not at all," she said. When asked if she still loved Edwards, Hunter replied, "I do."

Stephanopoulos asked if Edwards still loved her and she said, "You have to ask him. I think he does. I mean I feel that he does."

The interview began with Stephanopoulos asking Hunter, who gave birth to a girl named Frances Quinn with Edwards, whether knowing what she knows now, would she do it all again.

"Would I do that again?" repeats Hunter almost incredulously. "No way. Absolutely not."

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Hunter's announcement came out the same day her revealing memoir What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me was released.

The book revealed that Edwards had several mistresses before her, but it also angered people for her harsh criticism of Edwards' wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer at the time of their affair. Elizabeth Edwards has since died of the disease.

Hours after the GMA appearance Hunter sat down with the five female hosts on the ABC talk show The View where she insisted: "I'm a mom, I'm not a mistress," and "I'm not a big believer in infidelity."

Her comments got a very pointed reception on the show. Host Whoopi Goldberg asked Hunter how she could "trash a dead lady," referring to Elizabeth Edwards.

Hunter describes Elizabeth Edwards in her book as "crazy," and a "venomous" "witch on wheels" who is given to fits of "rage."

"I wrote the book to tell the truth," Hunter replied. "What I was told about their marriage along the way, my experience of that – I was truthful about."

Hunter was also asked if she didn't believe in infidelity how she could approach the former senator when they first met with, "You are so hot."

"I didn't feel that was a come-on," Hunter said, adding that the comment "just flew out of my mouth." Hunter said the couple has been worn down by the scrutiny and pressure brought on by their high profile affair that began while Edwards was running for the 2008 presidential nomination.

"For me, for my part in it, it's because I'm no longer interested in hiding, hiding our relationship," she said. "I don't know if you've noticed, but we've had a lot of media scrutiny. It's complicated and it's hard. It wears you down after a while."

Hunter, 48, wouldn't say whether one of them made the break.

"That's private. We decided together to end it. It's hard. It's painful," she said.

She rejected a suggestion that the relationship may have been a mistake.

"I know many things in the relationship were a mistake but I don't regret loving him," she said.

Hunter said that people should read the book before criticizing her.

"There is so much misinformation and distortion about this story and people form opinions without knowing what really happened," she said.

"The public persona of John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards -- and me, for that matter -- are so wrong. I think that it helps that we all are real humans and we all are not perfect," she said. "I don't think it serves the kids, including my own daughter, to have people that their father is a demon, when he's not, and that Elizabeth was a saint, because she wasn't, and that I'm a homewrecker. It doesn't serve anybody."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Rielle Hunter and John Edwards Split Up

Courtesy of Rielle Hunter(NEW YORK) -- Rielle Hunter and John Edwards ended their controversial relationship last week, just days after her new book debuted and she went public about how they met, hid their affair and had a baby girl together.

"We are a family, but as of the end of last week John Edwards and I are no longer a couple.  Not at all," Hunter told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.

When asked if she still loved Edwards, Hunter replied, "I do."

Stephanopoulos asked if Edwards still loved her and she said, "You have to ask him.  I think he does."

Nevertheless, the couple split, she said, worn down by the scrutiny and pressure brought on by their high profile affair that began while Edwards was running for the 2008 presidential nomination.

"For me, for my part in it, it's because I'm no longer interested in hiding, hiding our relationship, not living out," she said.  "I don't know if you've noticed, but we've had a lot of media scrutiny.  It's complicated and it's hard.  It wears you down after a while."

Hunter wouldn't say whether one of them made the break.

"That's private.  We decided together to end it.  It's hard.  It's painful," she said.

The interview began with Stephanopoulos asking Hunter, who has a baby girl named Frances Quinn with Edwards, whether knowing what she knows now, would she do it all again.

"Would I do that again?" repeats Hunter almost incredulously.  "No way.  Absolutely not."

The break-up came after the publication of Hunter's revealing memoir What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me.  The book revealed that Edwards had several mistresses before her, but it also angered people for her harsh criticism of Edwards' wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer at the time of their affair.  Elizabeth Edwards has since died of the disease.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun202012

Rielle Hunter: No Regrets About Following Her Heart

ABC/ PHIL ELLSWORTH(NEW YORK) -- Some see her as the woman who brought down former presidential candidate John Edwards, but Rielle Hunter, who in 2008 gave birth to Edwards’ daughter Quinn, told ABC News 20/20 anchor Chris Cuomo that she is something very different.

“First and foremost, I’m a mom,” she said in an exclusive interview Cuomo, which will air this Friday.  “And I’m also a woman who fell in love with a married man. I’m not the first woman who has done that and I’m not going to be the last.”

Hunter has penned a revealing memoir with many new revelations about her relationship with Edwards. What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me, to be published June 26, details how she got caught up in one of the biggest political scandals in recent history, the status of her relationship with Edwards and his involvement in the life of their now 4-year-old daughter.

People magazine obtained exclusive excerpts from the book, including Hunter’s description of how Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth Edwards, reacted after learning of the affair:

“Elizabeth requested all the tapes (I’d made of the campaign). She locked herself in a room to watch,” Hunter wrote. “On one tape she saw Johnny walking into a room and his reaction to seeing me. She apparently told him that he never once looked at her the way he looked at me. So she took that bit and put it on her computer as a screen saver in order to watch it over and over again.”

Last month Edwards was acquitted on charges of accepting illegal campaign contributions from a supporter. The Justice Department will not retry the case.

As for her and John Edwards?

“I’m still in love with John,” Hunter wrote. “That didn’t’ go away, shockingly enough. Marriage? I have no idea. I’m not a big fan of the institution, but never say never.”

In the end, Hunter says she has regrets, but not about following her heart because she has her daughter Quinn, whom she calls the love of her life.

Watch Chris Cuomo’s exclusive interview on ABC’s 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Rielle Hunter Reveals John Edwards' Multiple Mistresses in Tell-All Book

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Although Rielle Hunter was John Edwards' last mistress, she was not his first or only one, Hunter claims in a revealing tell-all memoir obtained by ABC News.

In her book, What Really Happened, set to hit stores on June 26, Hunter discloses that Edwards had affairs with at least two other women dating back 20 years, and did not reveal the truth until 2011, two years after Hunter appeared before a grand jury.

Ironically, when Edwards first met Hunter in 2006 he lied to her about having more mistresses -- not fewer -- and only revealed the truth about his relationships years later, when he was set to be tried for using donations from wealthy political supporters to cover up his illicit affair and the daughter he had with Hunter.

Edwards last month was acquitted on one count of violating campaign finance rules and a federal judge declared a mistrial on five other criminal counts after the jury came back deadlocked.  The Justice Department will not retry the case.

In the book, Hunter is vague about the current status of her relationship with Edwards, but suggests that they remain romantically involved and he is a presence in daughter Frances Quinn Hunter's life.

"I really have no idea what will happen with us.  The jury is still out.  But I can honestly say that the ending is of no concern to me anymore.  The love is here.  And as sappy as it may sound, I love living in love," she writes.

Hunter says she was driven to write the book because she wants daughter Frances Quinn to "have one entirely truthful public account of how she came into the world.  After all, this is her story too."

The book is a primer on the life of a political mistress -- long waits in hotel bars and furtive dinners over take-out, punctuated by short passionate trysts and the anxiety of being hounded by the paparazzi.

It is additionally both a full throated defense of Edwards' innocence and at times a screed against Edwards' wife Elizabeth, whom Hunter routinely describes as "crazy" and blames for driving Edwards into the arms of other women.

Tune in to 20/20 on Friday, June 22, to watch ABC News' Chris Cuomo's exclusive interview with Rielle Hunter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

John Edwards Won't Be Retried on Campaign Finance Charges

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department has dropped its case against John Edwards and will not retry the former presidential candidate on charges that he used nearly $1 million in campaign funds to hide his mistress and love child during his 2008 bid for the White House.

Edwards last month was found "not guilty" on one count of violating campaign finance rules by a North Carolina jury. On five other counts the jury was deadlocked and a federal judge declared a mistrial, opening the door to another trial.

Today's announcement from federal prosecutors ended any prospect of another trial.

"The jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict on five of the six counts of the indictment, however, and we respect their judgment," Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said in a statement.

"In the interest of justice, we have decided not to retry Mr. Edwards on those counts."

Edwards' attorney Abbe Lowell hailed the department's decision to forgo a retrial.

"We are grateful that the Justice Department, after hearing from the jury, has dismissed the remaining charges in this case. As we stated in our motions and arguments in court, the novel theory of campaign law violations charged by the Justice Department is not a crime," Lowell said in a statement.

Edwards was accused of soliciting nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors from 2007 to 2008 and using that money to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter while running for president.

His defense team argued that the money was solicited by a rogue aide, Andrew Young, who pocketed most of the proceeds for himself and that the cover-up was intended only to keep the affair a secret from Edwards' wife Elizabeth and not to further his political career. Elizabeth Edwards was dying of cancer at the time.

The trial was packed with dramatic moments featuring Elizabeth Edwards' fury over the affair, her dying regrets as she spent her last days without her estranged husband, the sometimes odd behavior of Hunter, and the brazen behavior of Edwards as he clung to his national ambitions while scandal wrecked his family.

Jurors told Judge Catherine Eagles they were unable to reach a verdict. After being sent back to try to reach a unanimous verdict, the jury announced they were hopelessly deadlocked.

Jurors interviewed after the trial said the majority believed Edwards was innocent of the charges.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun012012

John Edwards Jurors Explain Why Guilty Verdicts Weren’t Possible

Courtroom Sketch by Christine Cornell(NEW YORK) -- The jurors in the John Edwards trial spoke Friday morning for the first time about their nine days of deliberations that resulted in a not guilty verdict on only one count and a mistrial on the remaining counts.

One of the jurors, Theresa Fuller, told ABC News' Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos that she didn’t even think the case should have come to trial at all.  

“I felt like the evidence just wasn’t there.  It could have been more.  It could have been a lot more than what it was,” she said.

Despite the inability to reach a unanimous decision on most of the counts, the five jurors who appeared on GMA, including two alternates, were in good spirits about their experience in the highly dramatic case.

Jonathan Nunn, a juror and a maintenance specialist at the University of North Carolina, explained why he was unconvinced of Edwards' guilt in taking illegal campaign contributions in order to hide his pregnant girlfriend.

“In my opinion, it was personal gifts,” Nunn said.

Another juror, Sheila Lockwood, a telephone operator in a hospital, said she felt that because the money didn’t go to Edwards directly, she could not find him guilty.

“I just felt that he didn’t receive any of the money so you can’t really charge him for money that he got.  He didn’t even get the money so I just didn’t think he was guilty,” she said.

The 12 jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict and some stood their ground in opposition to Nunn and Lockwood.  Nunn says it occasionally grew tense in the jury room.

“There was a couple of times that it did but at the end of the day we were all just one big happy family and that’s the way we tried to keep it.  We tried to keep level-headed.  So at the end of the day everybody got along,” he said.

One of the strangest developments throughout the case were reports that one of the alternate jurors seemed to be flirting with Edwards.  That juror, Denise Speight, dismissed such assumptions with a laugh.

“I thought it was just the most funny thing I’ve ever heard.  Actually I was giggling over, I think, the media reaction when we walked into the courtroom over our outfits and color.  No intention of flirting with John Edwards and I don’t think he had any intentions of blushing or flirting back with me,” Speight, a pharmacist and mother, said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May312012

John Edwards Verdict: Not Guilty on 1 Count, Mistrial on 5 Counts

ABC News(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- A North Carolina jury found former Sen. John Edwards not guilty Thursday on one of six counts in a campaign-finance trial, and declared itself hopelessly deadlocked on the remaining charges, leading the judge to declare a mistrial on those counts.

Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate, accused of soliciting nearly $1 million from wealthy backers to finance a cover up of his illicit affair and illegitimate child during his 2008 bid for the White House, was found not guilty on count 3 of the six-part indictment. That count pertained only to whether Edwards illegally received several hundred thousand dollars in donations from wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon to cover up the affair in 2008.

Following the verdict, Edwards, who remained silent throughout the trial, gave an emotional speech on the courthouse steps. He acknowledged his moral shortcomings and thanked his children, dramatically pausing when mentioning 4-year-old Frances Quinn, the baby he fathered with his mistress.

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Edwards was joined every day in the courtroom by his oldest daughter Cate, 30. He said he took care of his two other children, Emma, 14, and Jack, 12, seeing them off to school every day.

But when it came to acknowledging Quinn, the illegitimate daughter he had with a mistress, Rielle Hunter, he got choked up. "My precious Quinn," he said, "who I love more than any of you can ever imagine, [who] I am so close to, so, so grateful for."

Edwards said he did not believe he did anything "illegal" but acknowledged the affair he conducted while his wife, Elizabeth, was dying of cancer was "awful" and "wrong."

"No one else is responsible for my sins," he said. "I am responsible.

"If I want to find the person responsible for my sins, I don't have to go further than a mirror," he added. "It was me and me alone."

After nine days of deliberations, three times as long as the defense took to put on its case, the courtroom was thrown into confusion Thursday afternoon when it briefly appeared the jury had reached a verdict on all counts.

The jury informed the judge it had not reached a verdict and was charged again to go back to deliberating.

The other counts pertained to Mellon's donations in 2007, donations in 2007 and 2008 from another wealthy donor, Fred Baron, a conspiracy charge, and a charge of making false statements.

Less than an hour after the judge sent them back to deliberate, the jury returned and declared itself hung on those five outstanding counts.

It was not immediately clear whether the government would seek to retry Edwards on those counts.

The jury began deliberating on May 18 after a month of testimony.

The government spent three weeks building its case. Much of it hinged on the testimony of Andrew Young, once Edwards' most loyal aide, who testified he collected $725,000 from Mellon, who disguised her contributions as payments for antique furniture.

The prosecution detailed the way Edwards met Hunter and how he worked throughout his campaign to keep the affair and later his love child a secret. The government said Baron, another wealthy backer who was once Edwards' campaign treasurer contributed an additional $300,000 to move Hunter and her baby all over the country to keep them away from the media.

None of the principle witnesses in the case were ever called to testify. Baron died of cancer in 2008. Mellon is 101-years-old. And neither Hunter, not Edwards himself, ever took the stand.

In just three days of defense testimony, Edwards' lawyers tried to portray Young as the mastermind of a plot to use Edwards' scandal to request funds for his own personal use. Any lies Edwards told, his lawyers said, were in an effort to keep the affair a secret from his wife, Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer, and not to advance his political career.

The panel of eight men and four women spent nine days and more than 50 hours deliberating, breaking only for lunch or when the judge ordered closed-door sessions to discuss issues with them. The jurors themselves captured headlines in recent days, when four alternate jurors began wearing color-coordinated outfits.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

John Edwards Judge Lets Colorful Alternate Jurors Stay Home

Courtroom Sketch by Christine Cornell(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The judge in the John Edwards campaign-finance trial Wednesday told a group of four alternate jurors known for wearing color-coordinated outfits that they no longer have to attend daily court sessions while the other 12 jurors deliberate.

Despite sitting through the entire month-long trial and being ordered to appear every day while the regular panel considers the evidence, the three women and one man who are alternates have had no input in those deliberations and are not permitted in the jury room.

The alternates last week began wearing matching clothes. They've appeared in court wearing matching yellow, red, black or gray, and purple outfits.

"We will miss your cheerful faces," Federal Judge Catherine Eagles told the alternates. "And we will regret not knowing the color for tomorrow."

Though they no longer have to attend the daily court sessions, the alternate jurors are still under orders not to discuss the case or give media interviews. They could also be called to take the place of a juror if one or more are unable to complete deliberations.

The panel has deliberated for 45 hours over eight days and through several delays.

Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate and former senator, is accused of using nearly $1 million in donations from wealthy political backers to hide his mistress Rielle Hunter and their love child during his 2008 campaign.

If convicted Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and could be fined as much as $1.5 million, although it is unlikely he would face the severest penalties.

Deliberations were briefly stalled Wednesday when the judge received a mysterious note from a juror, prompting a closed-door session to deal with the jury matter, the third such delay in as many days.

It is unknown what information was contained in the note.

Later in the day, the judge cleared the courtroom a second time to discuss the matter with lawyers for Edwards and the government.

The judge signaled Tuesday that potential scheduling conflicts could cause additional delays. Some jurors have requested time off for personal matters, like attending a child's high school graduation. The judge said she will soon have a meeting in her chambers to address those conflicts.

The regular panel of jurors ended their eighth day of deliberations Wednesday evening, adding to anxiety and anticipation surrounding the verdict.

Edwards and his legal team had, until Wednesday, waited out every day of deliberations from a second-floor room inside the courthouse. Early on, Edwards could sometimes be seen pacing the room and looking out the window at journalists assembled outside.

Edwards was not at the courthouse Wednesday morning, but came back following a lunch break.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

John Edwards Jury Delayed by Mystery Note

SKETCH BY CHRISTINE CORNELL(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- A note from a juror briefly stalled deliberations again in the John Edwards campaign-finance trial Wednesday, causing Judge Catherine Eagles to hold a closed-door session to deal with a jury matter -- the third such delay in as many days.

It is unknown what information was contained in the note.

Deliberations dragged into their eighth day Wednesday adding to the anticipation of waiting for a verdict.

The judge signaled Tuesday that potential scheduling conflicts could cause further delays. Some jurors have requested time off for personal matters, like attending a child's high school graduation. The judge said she will soon have a meeting in her chambers to address those conflicts.

The panel of eight men and four women Wednesday spent the morning deliberating before breaking for lunch. They have logged more than forty hours of deliberations since lawyers ended their arguments on May 18. Edwards and his legal team had, until Wednesday, waited out every day of deliberations from a second-floor room inside the courthouse. Early on, Edwards could sometimes be seen pacing the room and looking out the window at journalists assembled outside.

Edwards was not at the courthouse Wednesday morning, but came back following a lunch break. Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate and former senator, is accused of using nearly $1 million in donations from wealthy political backers to hide his mistress and love child during his 2008 campaign.

If convicted Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and be fined as much as $1.5 million, although it is unlikely he would face the severest penalties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

John Edwards' Judge Quips, Lawyer Doesn't Laugh

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) --  John Edwards' lawyer dropped his head to his courtroom table in exasperation as jurors concluded a seventh day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the former presidential candidate's mistress-and-money trial.

Judge Catherine Eagles inadvertently caused a small stir Tuesday afternoon when she entered the courtroom and announced, "The jury has sent a note that they've reached..."

After a long pause as lawyers and observers held their breath, she continued: "a good stopping point."

As the courtroom erupted in laughter, Edward's attorney, veteran lawyer Abbe Lowell, put his head on the defense table.

Eagles later apologized for the confusion, apparently making the joke inadvertently.

The brief moment of levity contrasted with a much darker mood earlier Tuesday when Eagles appeared to scold jurors, slightly delaying their ongoing deliberations.

Following the long weekend jurors returned Tuesday for a closed-door meeting with the judge. It is unclear what jurors did that Judge Catherine Eagles felt compelled to hold a closed-door session with them, the second such hearing since Friday.

When the court reconvened, Eagles gave a longer-than-normal speech to the jurors, reminding them to carefully choose their words, and not to discuss the trial in small groups or outside the jury room.

It raises the possibility that juror behavior could later be grounds for an appeal.

Jurors have deliberated the case for seven days, methodically working through six campaign-finance charges.

Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate and former senator, is accused of using nearly $1 million in donations from wealthy political backers to hide his mistress and love child during his 2008 campaign.

The month-long trial concluded on May 18. A panel of eight men and four women have been deliberating ever since, breaking each day only for lunch.

If convicted Edwards face up to 30 years in prison and be fined as much as $1.5 million, although it is unlikely he would face the severest penalties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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