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. Erick FL

    What i find odd is that thsi is "Old News"... where was the media? I found out about this at PerezHilton.

    August 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Storm

    I'm am so terribly disappointed in him. My sympathies to his family, particularly to Elizabeth. I don't know where she gets the strength and courage about the many blows in her life, but I greatly admire her.

    August 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Texas trail puppy!

    What "HIPOCRICY", how can McSame's Camp criticize Sen. Edwards. When McSame did something similar if not worse!!!! He too should step down from the presidential race..

    August 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Susan, TX

    Having an affair is no one's business, I don't care who they are so long is they get the job done and it doesn't interfere with their work.

    August 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Kelby from Houston, TX

    I am not ashamed of you John Edwards. I do not hold you in contempt. I will not judge you sir.
    I have seen you work to make this country a better place and I appreciate your efforts. I believe in you. Things happen, people make stupid decisions sometimes. It's okay

    Our contitution provides separation between church and state. However the American public can't realize a separation between a politicians elected office and his bed room.

    August 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Monica, Texas

    Repub's...should be careful b/c many have negative thoughts about McCain and his first marriage and the details....

    August 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. biffington, biff


    they are in the same place as all of the people who prayed that the clintons could get past their marital rough patch. What kind of person takes glee in another's fall?

    August 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. JDW

    At least Edward made an entire statement without mentioning that friggin' mill!

    August 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Richard Hintzman

    Just the language in his statement shows he still thinks it's all about him. I'm sorry for his family and especially his wife. Certainly the stress caused her by her husband’s action will have a deleterious effect on her frail body.

    August 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Upstate Deb

    guess who's not going to get the VP nod now???

    I am still totally disenchanted with my party – the one that picked a Ba-ROCK Star over Hillary. Pick whomever you want, Obama – you still won't get MY vote.

    August 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. john williams san diego, ca.

    Right on John...sue the Republican party for premeditated slander.

    August 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. James Doe

    Bad move, dude. Bad move.

    August 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Ken in TX

    The important lesson to teach our children is – we all make mistakes. Whether we gauge the mistakes small or large... a mistake is a mistake. It's so great that this man came honest and informed the rest of the world of a secret that he has kept. This shows that he's human. We all do things that we are ashamed of. Some of us don't talk about those things, but there is something that we all do. It may not be commiting adultery or the like... but I'd like to see some Income Tax statements or insurance claims. Sinning is sinning, and God judges us all equal. So before we attempt to point the finger at Mr. Edwards, I challege each to consider yourself. What is it that you do (or have done) that you will take to the grave?

    August 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Peter E

    I notice Obama supporters are so silent about this...
    Edwards, who also didn't 'end' his campaign, merely 'suspended' it, has been seen only at one event with Obama since the primaries, and now turns out to be a cheater is still regarded by them as better than their arch-nemesis Hillary, who merely 'suspended' her campaign, who has been cheated upon, and who has campaigned more for Obama since the primaries than all his other rivals combined.
    Talk about double-standards...

    August 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Joyce in Florida

    Senator Edwards, you should be ashamed of your choices. Can't believe you did this to your wife who is ill. Another bad choice you made was endorsing Senator Obama. We all know that Hillary Clinton is and always will be the better candidate for our presidency. You should have stood by her. As they say, what goes around comes around.

    August 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Peter E

    Notice CNN's priorities: the olympics opened today and there is a war now in Georgia... but the number one news here is a guy's private life...

    August 8, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Chris, American in London

    Don't have an affair if your running for president. As a rule, you should divorce your spouse before sleeping w/some one else.(unless your a swinging couple) Plus the baby thing? Oh John, this is not like you. Or is this the real you? I still am a fan though, I don't care.

    August 8, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. MIKE IN MN

    Another cheating, lying Democrat. Go ahead Democrats, call the Republicans some more insulting names. Can't do it? Chocking on your own words? Good!!!!!!

    August 8, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Check 2 Check

    It takes courage and character to admit to something you had gotten away with..(nobody believes tabloids and even still it wasn't a big story).

    August 8, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. JohnLee

    I'm saddened, shocked and upset.

    August 8, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. Peter E

    Edwards is a sneaky guy who wants Obama to lose. Why has he only 'suspended' his campaign and not 'end' it? How come he appeared with Obama only once since the primaries? He sure isn't putting in any effort for party unity...
    Oh wait. All these standards only apply to Hillary. Hillary is the only one who should be blamed for everything. She also just 'suspended' her campaign and campaigned for Obama merely twice as much as all of Obama's other rivals combined. How dare she undermine Obama so much...

    August 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Tim

    And another great man falls....

    August 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. George

    Let's all read the Lib's comments about "it was okay" and "compared to McCain..." and "They all do it, only Edwards got caught..."

    and then we can all use our brains and simply say;

    "He betrayed his wife, a woman ravaged by cancer, and now moreso by a faithless, lying husband."

    She shows more support for him than my wife does for me and I don't cheat on my wife. I guess some of us hold marriage sacred. And some of us are John Edwards.

    August 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Matt, Canoga Park

    This comes as a complete lack of surprise to me. He was a lying dirtbag ambulance chaser before and little has changed since then. The only real good is his politcal career is dead finally.

    August 8, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Jack

    I'd still take him over McCain anyday.

    August 8, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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