Edwards admits affair

From ABC News:

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.

From CNN:

Edwards, 55, of North Carolina, told ABC that his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members have known about the affair since 2006.

From the NYT blog:

The network [ABC]  said that Mr. Edwards “made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife’s cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter.”

This is just so sad, on so many levels.

UPDATE: Here is the statement John Edwards released today

In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs.  I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness.  Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it.  But being 99% honest is no longer enough.

I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established.  I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of  the baby.  I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.

It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry.  In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.  If you want to beat me up — feel free.  You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself.  I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.

I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say.

UPDATE 2: Elizabeth Edwards’ statement posted on Daily Kos:

Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some – most recently – caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences.  None of these has been easy.  But we have stood with one another through them all.  Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.

John made a terrible mistake in 2006.  The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007.  This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well.  Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame.  The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown.  But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue.  I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.

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34 thoughts on “Edwards admits affair

  1. And a new twist on this: Wolfson believes the Edwards’ coverup cost Clinton the nomination

    Edwards is making me regret that I ever stuck up for him*, but I’m going to go with it being Hillary Clinton’s staff that cost her the nomination (which, of course, is ultimately her mistake).

    *Don’t care about his affair. But stuff like this? Nice.

  2. I was waiting for that Atlantic article to be released – had seen a number of references to it across the ‘net but no links. And that Harper’s article is just, well, disappointing.

    That DC diary is dead on, at least as far as national candidates is concerned. I like to keep my money local.

  3. My sister has had an affair with a local politician for years and I honestly believe that she is the only person who has been hurt. His wife is happy as long as the “status quo” remains the same. I do believe he is a very good politician, I think he is just very unhappy with his home life. I know plenty of people who are excellent and brilliant at the work they do, but, at the same time, they are very messed up with their personal lives.

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