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article imageOp-Ed: Questions On The National Enquirer's Claim To Have Caught John Edwards With Mistress

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By Susan Duclos     Jul 23, 2008 in Politics
There are some valid questions to be asked about the National Enquirer's much talked about claim that they caught John Edwards at the Beverly Hilton hotel with blonde divorcée Rielle Hunter.
The National Enquirer magazine has had their share of hits and misses and one of their most popular hits, where they got it right, was the Rush Limbaugh story which they broke about his addiction to OxyContin.
They may have just hit another one, which actually became a focal point for them in 2007 when they first claimed to have discovered an affair between John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. They went further and claimed that Edwards was the father of her expected baby.
Since then, the National Enquirer has been relentlessly investigating this story and yesterday they made a splash saying they caught John Edwards sneaking into a hotel where Rielle Hunter had registered two rooms, one of which had a friend watching Hunter's baby and the other was occupied by Hunter.
The Claims.
The National Enquirer claims that their months long investigation led them to believe that Edwards would meet Hunter at the Beverly Hilton, after Edwards had attended a press event Monday afternoon with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
They claim that Hunter had reserved two rooms, 246 and 252 under the name of the friend who had accompanied her from Santa Barbara, Bob McGovern.
They claim they saw Edwards enter the hotel at 9:45 p.m through the side entrance, saying that this was witnessed by one of the many reporters the Enquirer had stationed at the hotel.
They claim Edwards left the hotel briefly with Hunter, then returned and he stayed until 2:40 am.
They claim that they were waiting for him in the hotel basement when he left and asked him "why he was visiting Rielle and whether he was ready to confirm that he was the father of her baby"?
They claim he ran back up the stairs to the lobby, where they had a photographer waiting, saying doubled back to the basement.
They claim that he tried to leave by way of a stairwell, but that another Enquirer reporter saw him and tried to question him.
Then they claim that Edwards hid in the restroom for 15 minutes until hotel security came and escorted him out of the building while preventing National Enquirer employees to follow him out.
Last but not least, reporter Alexander Hitchen states, "Some guests up at this late hour watched the spectacle in amusement from a staircase nearby."
John Edwards has been denying the story about Hunter being his mistress since the National Enquirer first reported it in 2007 and at one time he was asked about the story from another media outlet and he responded by saying, "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," adding, "Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years."
Hunter has also denied those previous allegations.
Questions about the National Enquirer story.
The claim about whether Hunter had reserved two rooms should be easy enough to verify or debunk for the media.
The questions that seem to naturally arise are, if the National Enquirer had so many reporters and they claim that they had their photographer there, where are the photos?
They say they saw him and Hunter leave briefly together, so they should have had a perfect opportunity to photograph the two, but the online version of the story does not produce any photographic evidence.
They say that hotel security had to escort Edwards out of the hotel, that too brings up the question of where are the interviews with any of those hotel security members?
They also state, via reporter Alexander Hitchen, that there were guests of the hotel awake and witnessing this supposed event with "amusement", so where are their statements and why did they not interview those guests?
Legal Precedent.
If this story is untrue and Edwards can prove it, he can sue the National Enquirer as Cameron Diaz did in 2007, to which she won a settlement against the paper after they accused her an affair with a married man and cheating on her then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake. Diaz had previously won a suit against British tabloid The Sun for printing the same story.
There is precedent for John Edwards to sue if the story is false and the National Enquirer cannot prove these allegations.
John Edwards wife, Elizabeth, is battling cancer and whether the National Enquirer is right or wrong, this has got to be deeply disturbing to her and if Edwards is truly innocent, then he should bring the full force of as many lawyers he can get into this and take the appropriate action.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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