Edwards finally admits paternity

By Chris Rizo | Jan 21, 2010

John Edwards (D)

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline)-Famed trial attorney and two-time U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards acknowledged Thursday that he is the father of his former mistress's 2-year-old daughter.

In a statement, Edwards, a former U.S. senator, said he and Rielle Hunter, who was his 2008 presidential campaign's videographer, are the parents of little Frances Quinn Hunter.

Edwards's statement follows his vehement denial that he was the baby's father. The story was first reported two years ago by The National Enquirer. Next month, a tell-all book by one of his former aides, Andrew Young, is set to be released.

In a statement to NBC's "Today" show, Edwards said: "It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter, and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me."

Edwards, 56, who amassed a personal fortune by suing doctors over alleged malpractive, vowed in the statement to provide for his daughter.

"I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves," Edwards said. "I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace."

In August 2008, Edwards admitted that he "made a serious error in judgment" in 2006 and had a "liaison with another woman."

Fred Baron, the Texas trial attorney who was Edwards's national finance chairman, said in 2008 that he sent money to relocate Rielle Hunter and Young, who initially claimed paternity of the child. Baron died in October 2008.

For her part, the former senator's wife Elizabeth Edwards has stood by her husband despite the affair. She has terminal cancer.

Edwards was the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, vying for the White House with U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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