August 8th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Edwards: 'I have been stripped bare'

Edwards: ‘I am ashamed of my conduct and choices.”

Edwards: ‘I am ashamed of my conduct and choices.”

John Edwards released a statement Friday following a report that he had admitted an extra-marital affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter.

Watch: Edwards: 'I sin every single day'


August 8, 2008

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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.

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. tony

    John who?

    August 8, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. harriet benjamin

    What a idiot.......

    August 8, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Independent voter




    August 8, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. RDS

    People cheat every single day. In fact most that will post on this blog today have either cheated, been cheated on , or are engaged in cheating now. This is a family issue, not something for a bunch or critics who don't know him to try to give their opinions. This is no way discredits the awesome work that he and his wife have done for the less fortunate throughout the years. 😉

    August 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Independent voter

    I'd still take Edwards over Bush.

    August 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. AMW

    Typical two faced politican.....! Very disappointing !!!!!!! He was obviously thinking with the smaller of two heads.

    August 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Arkansas Undertaker

    This was none of our business just like Bill Clintons Liasions were none of our business in the 1990's. He did the job he was hired to do.

    I am not married to the man. I Elizabeth can forgive him and Hillary can forgive Bill then thats good enough for me.

    God Bless John and Elizabeth Edwards.

    August 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. hillary

    Where are all the idiot BO supporters cheering OBAMA/EDWARDS 08?????????????


    August 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Irma in North Carolina

    He should be Mccains v p. They are two peas in a pods, they both cheated on their ailing wifes..

    August 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. kayla

    HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, CAST THE FIRST STONE. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. unlike mcsame who married cindy(grandma barbie) four weeks after he got divorce from his first wife.

    August 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Chitown Jason

    Wow. He manned up to his mistake.

    I didn't know politicians did that.

    Respect earned, Mr. Edwards.

    August 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Amy

    99% honest? How can he say that when he lied about it for the past year? The part that really gets me is that his wife was sick. Having lost my mother to breast cancer, I cannot imagine how his family is coping with this.

    August 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Beatriz Perez-Sanchez

    A politician had an extra-marital affair...This is news? And who cares?

    August 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. A.

    I'm just jealous it wasn't with me.

    August 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. P, CA

    I fully accept his apology, but I'm just that kind of person. Forgiveness IS a virtue (though I'm not religious). This letter is really well-phrased and appears to be very sincere.

    To those people who call him sick, he's only human, and most everyone has done something they are ashamed of later, and most people who haven't are egotistical about their so-called "perfection." Therefore, they are beneath those of us who have erred and learned because they are making the biggest mistake of idolizing themselves.

    To those people who try to show this as being typical of a politician, a democrat, etc., you have something to learn about humility, respect, and humanity. I hope you learn these things before you make another spammy blog post.

    I really hope this doesn't dominate the airwaves for too long. He doesn't deserve it, and his wife DEFINITELY doesn't. Show some respect, and don't turn this into some kind of "Days of our Lives" BS.

    Gossip is for people bored or upset with their own lives. It's easier to talk than to rise above.

    August 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. CC

    Who cares if John Edwards has an affair? Its nobody's business except for the ones involved. I feel so sorry for Elizabeth, that she will have to deal with this along with fighting for her life. CNN should stop all stories concerning this if they have care about the health of Elizabeth. Shame on him, but shame on the media!!!!!

    August 8, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. David Wallenstein

    Who cares?

    August 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Jeff


    August 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. GERRY

    Come on people, he has admitted his mistakes and they are between him and his maker. To make snide political remarks is wrong and no one has a right to judge him.

    August 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. David

    Why is it that Fox News broke this story a long time ago, and now it is just becoming news on CNN? Liberal bias???

    August 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Jean

    I still like him, I know he did the wrong thing. But after Clinton, let's face it, this was mild.

    August 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. MM

    Disappointment. But of course politicians are human. But, being in the public eye, one expects more of them.

    August 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. The Blind Lady of Justice

    Rick Warren, please ask Senator Obama and Senator McCain the following question –

    Have you ever had sex with a woman, other than your wife, while you've been married?

    August 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Lake side

    That is 10 times better an apology than the "I regret my inappropriate lapse of judgement" deal that Bill Clinton offered.

    I just am so glad that Edwards did not become the nominee.

    Maybe Hillary Clinton had an affair also...well, actually- probably not.

    August 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. alan j


    August 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6