After consistently denying the National Enquirers claims that he had an affair with Rielle Hunter, John Edwards finally admits that he did have an affair with Hunter and continues to deny he is the father of Hunter's baby.
Edwards admits he lied about the affair while he was running his presidential campaign after the National Enquirer first exposed the affair late last year.
Back in October of 2007, Edwards made his denials publicly, saying, "The story is false, it's completely untrue, it's ridiculous."
He repeated those denials just a couple of weeks ago when the National Enquirer reported about Edwards meeting with Hunter at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
Recently, the National Enquirer cornered Edwards at the Beverly Hilton hotel and this story once again entered the news stream although many major news organizations did not cover the National Enquirer claims.
ABC News has now announced that Edwards is admitting to his extra-marital affair and that he repeatedly lied about the affair on the presidential campaign trail.
Edwards today admitted the National Enquirer was correct when it reported he had visited Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton last month.
John Edwards does continue to deny being the father of Rielle Hunter's baby after the National Enquirer produced photos they allege is John Edwards holding the child, and says he does not love Hunter.
According to Edwards, he claims he knows he is not the father based on timing of the baby's birth on February 27, 2008, saying he ended his affair with Hunter too soon to be the father.
Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa.
Edwards said his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family became aware of the affair in 2006.
Yesterday it was reported that Democratic party members were insisting that John Edwards deal with this issue before they could decide his role in the Democratic National Convention saying he could lose his speaking spot if he did not do so.
[Update] Listening to a National Enquirer employee on television saying they stand by their assertion that he is the father and challenging Edwards to take a DNA test and promising to publish the results no matter what they are.
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.
It is being reported on television that Edwards and his wife Elizabeth might be making a public statement, if and when he does, I will try to provide the video.
[Update] Elizabeth Edwards' statement, via her DailyKos diary:
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.
Video that Hunter produced during Edwards' campaign, called "plane truths", found here.
Reactions are starting to come out.
Former campaign manager David Bonior said in an e-mail statement, "I am disappointed and angry. Thousands of friends and supporters of Senator Edwards put their faith and confidence in him, and he has let them down. Young supporters who put their time and energy into his campaign with a newfound energy and idealism for politics have been betrayed by his actions. But the issues we cared about and fought for — poverty, worker justice, clean environment and health care for all — are issues worth continuing to fight.”